Montreal’s first Jewish mayor and a Jewish former alderman were arrested as part of a crackdown on corruption.
Michael Applebaum, who was appointed mayor last November, was taken into custody Monday morning by agents of the anti-corruption unit, l’unite permanente anticorruption (UPAC). Also arrested was Saulie Zajdel, an Orthodox Jewish former city council member who ran unsuccessfully for a seat in Canada’s last federal election.
Charges are expected to be announced later Monday.
Zajdel was a Montreal city councilor from 1986 to 2009. He also served as a director of the Jewish Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation for more than four years.
Zajdel listed his current job as a municipal affairs consultant and real estate broker, according to his LinkedIn page.
Applebaum, 50, won a city council vote in November to serve as interim mayor for only a year, with a promise not to run in the next municipal election. He replaced the previous mayor, Gerald Tremblay, who resigned in a corruption scandal that linked him to graft and organized crime.
A third man, Jean Yves Brisson, also was arrested Monday. Police say both he and Zajdel had previously worked in the local electoral district of Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dâme-de-Grace, which Applebaum had represented as either a councilor or mayor since 1994.
All three were being held Monday by Quebec Provincial Police.