Former Montreal mayor Jean Doré said he was offered an envelope full of cash by a developer, two weeks before he was first elected to lead the city in a landslide victory in 1986.
"Somebody offered me an envelope full of money, essentially saying, 'Well, this is for the family, that's for Christmas gifts for your kids. It's a way of us helping you,'" said Doré, a founder of the Montreal Citizens' Movement.
Doré said the envelope was stuffed with $100 bills.
He said someone who worked with a developer offered him the money, but he does not recall who that person was.
Doré said he wasn't surprised by the offer. He said it is common for criminals to test novice politicians by offering bribes.
"It does happen, and it's a question not only of political, but of personal ethics," he said.
He said he made sure councillors and bureaucrats in his administration were warned about the dangers of people trying to bribe them.
He said that occasion was the only time he was offered a bribe.
Doré served as mayor for 8 years, until he was defeated by Pierre Bourque in 1994.
Doré said the province's former Liberal government waited too long to take the problem of corruption seriously.
He said Tuesday's raids by the provincial anti-corruption squad (UPAC) on Montreal City Hall and six other borough offices, reportedly linked to allegations of illegal party financing within Union Montréal three years ago, should have happened sooner.
"It was deplorable to see police intervene at city hall, but that was a necessary thing to do the cleanup process. The only thing is that it should have happened two years ago," Doré said.