Another Quebec mayor disgraced

AFP, MONTREAL

Sun, Jun 30, 2013 - Page 7

Another Quebec mayor resigned on Friday amid sex allegations, bringing to four the number of municipal leaders in the Canadian province to quit in disgrace in recent months.

Laval interim mayor Alexandre Duplessis announced he was stepping down after being accused of soliciting sex with a prostitute, which he denied.

Duplessis had been interim mayor of Quebec’s third-largest city since the former mayor stepped down in November last year under a cloud of suspicions and six months later was charged with corruption, fraud and gangsterism.

The same month that year, the mayor of nearby Montreal, Gerald Tremblay, also resigned over a scheme in which his party allegedly received kickbacks from government construction bids.

His replacement, Michael Applebaum, quit on June 18 after being arrested and charged with fraud.

Citing police sources, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp said Duplessis had invited a prostitute and her driver to his chalet on June 14, but abruptly canceled the visit when one of the women recognized him.

The women insisted on being paid, but he refused and on a few occasions rebuffed their attempts to collect the money, the public broadcaster said.

Duplessis told a news conference that he filed a complaint with police, without addressing the details in the case.

“I never solicited, I never received anything of a sexual nature,” he said. “There was an attempt to extort me.”