Officers from Quebec’s anti-corruption squad raided nine locations on Tuesday, including Montreal’s city hall, and held mayor Michael Applebaum for questioning in an investigation into allegations of fraud, breach of trust and the creation of false documents.
Montreal’s city hall was locked down and swept by police at around 4 p.m., along with eight other locations including borough offices in Lachine, St-Laurent, Anjou, Verdun, St-Léonard, Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, as well as offices belonging to political party Union Montréal. More than 125 police officers participated in the various raids.
In a news scrum outside city hall hours later on Tuesday night, Applebaum avoided questions of whether Union Montréal was the target of the raids. He confirmed that he met with police, as did former mayor Gerald Tremblay, but maintained that he was not the target.
I’m here to co-operate with the police and to provide all necessary information. I am working in collaboration with them and I cannot divulge any information.
Video: Montreal mayor ‘not under investigation’, pledges to work with police bit.ly/12MEfa5
— The Globe and Mail (@globeandmail) February 20, 2013
Union Montréal was the governing party in the city beginning in 2001 when it won its first election under Tremblay, until 2012. It remains the largest single party caucus in the municipal government, but lost its majority in November 2012 when a number of councillors quit after Tremblay’s resignation. Tremblay resigned over allegations of corruption in awarding construction contracts to a mafia-linked cartel.
Applebaum was a member of the party in 2010 when the anti-corruption unit, known as UPAC (Unité permanente anti-corruption), began its investigation. He currently sits as an independent and is the first Anglophone mayor in Montreal in more than 100 years.
— CJAD 800 MontreaI (@CJAD800) February 20, 2013