The ex-mayor of Montreal Michael Applebaum
20 January 2020 13h39
The ex-mayor Applebaum, guilty of fraud, can retain his severance pay
The canadian Press
MONTREAL – The superior Court concludes that the ex-mayor of Montreal Michael Applebaum may retain the 268 000 $ ‘ severance pay he received after his resignation – even if he was later convicted of fraud against the government and breach of trust.
The court ruled Monday that the mayor ousted, was entitled to these severance benefits because of the new provisions of the law that prohibit such payments to elected officials convicted criminal came into force after his resignation, and that they are not retroactive.
Mr. Applebaum, who was elected for the first time to the city council in 1994, became mayor by acting Montreal in November 2012, when Gérald Tremblay resigned. But arrested by the Unité permanente anticorruption (UPAC) seven months later, in June 2013, Mr. Applebaum was also forced to resign.
At the end of his trial, he was convicted in January 2017 eight of the 14 counts against him, including fraud against the government, conspiracy to commit fraud, breach of trust and conspiracy to commit a breach of trust.
The City of Montreal was then sued Mr. Applebaum to recover severance payments of $ 268,000 to which he had been paid at the time of his resignation. However, the provincial act governing the remuneration of elected municipal officers has been amended only in 2016, then in 2018, to prevent politicians convicted of certain crimes to receive public funds when they leave their functions.
The judge Serge Gaudet, of the superior Court, concluded that since the legislature had not made the law retroactive, the former mayor Applebaum, therefore, was not required to return the money received.
The mayor of Montreal, Valerie Plant, said it was disappointed with the decision of the tribunal. It said on Monday that it had asked prosecutors in the City what other judicial remedies were possible to try to recover this sum.