Disgraced mayor-turned-agent in court over corruption

by Jordan Maxwell03 Jun 2015
A case against former Montreal mayor accused of bribery and corruption in real estate scandals has agents weighing in on the effect a guilty verdict could have on the industry.

"He hasn't been found guilty so it's tough to say but anytime you have these allegations against you, it certainly doesn't reflect well on the industry if he was found guilty. I wouldn't expect he'd be able to keep his license if that was the case," said John Deakin, a broker and co-founder of Deakin Realty in Montreal.
The comments come as Michael Applebaum, the former mayor of Cote-Des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-De-Grace, who served as a borough mayor for a decade (2002-2012) entered preliminary hearings earlier this week after being charged with corruption and fraud for his part in a scandal during his time as mayor.
His history as a politician has been well-documented, serving first a city councillor before ultimately rising through the ranks to become a borough mayor and then later in 2012, the mayor of Montreal. He was the first Anglophone to hold the post in over a century.
Things started out well for the former real estate agent-turned-mayor as he cut taxes and transit fares, earning favours but things quickly changed for the worse.
Le Devoir, a French newspaper, reported an investigation into Applebaum’s dealings over a real estate transaction in Cote-Des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-De-Grace, to which he denied any involvement.
A month after allegations surfaced, UPAC, the province’s anti-corruption squad raided Montreal City Hall. In June 2013, UPAC arrested Applebaum at his home – less than a year after becoming mayor and vowing to tackle corruption.
But what’s most interesting to the case is his experience as a real estate agent before he got involved in politics. After resigning as mayor following a series of corruption scandals, Applebaum started working as a real estate broker again in 2014.
Despite the allegations against him, it hasn’t stopped him from being a real estate broker, or deterred many from working with him, according to the CBC.
"He is a real estate broker with a valid license. Why should I not hire him?" Salvatore Sansalone said, the director of Imagine Realty, who hired Applebaum after his stint as mayor. “Everybody has to eat and make a living and the allegations haven’t been proven. We’ve gotten more compliments about his work than backlash.”



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