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.

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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.

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1 COMMENT

  1. I've got to say this. I've known Saulie for 25 years, since I was a kid, and have seen him work tirelessly not only for his constituency in general, but specifically for anyone and everyone who has ever needed his services. I believe, from what has emerged, that this is a clear case of selective prosecution, and most undeservedly. He's a tremendous person, as are his entire family, and no one wins from this kind of prosecution. He's a uniquely able and caring individual and that's an understatement. He's popular for a good reason, in his case many good reasons.

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