Laval trusteeship to be lifted next month
Quebec Municipal Commission praises new Mayor Marc Demers and his administration
The Quebec Municipal Commission has decided the City of Laval will no longer have to be under provincial trusteeship as of Dec. 9, after receiving a recommendation from the team of delegates who oversee the city.
The Quebec government stepped in last June after a witness at the Quebec corruption inquiry testified that then-interim mayor Alexandre Duplessis, participated in a widespread illegal political-financing scheme.
The head of the commission, Denis Marsolais, said newly elected Mayor Marc Demers' willingness to work with the trustees contributed to the decision.
"The openness, collaboration and discipline shown by the newly elected administration favoured a recommendation to end the trusteeship," Marsolais said.
City plagued by allegations of corruption
Revelations of corruption at Laval City Hall first grabbed headlines when Gilles Vaillancourt, known as the "King of Laval," resigned as mayor in November 2012 amid mounting pressure from the province's anti-corruption unit (UPAC) investigation and testimony before Quebec's corruption inquiry.
Vaillancourt headed the city for a total of six terms over 23 years.
The former mayor, who has maintained his innocence, has been charged with 12 corruption-related offences including conspiracy, fraud, influence peddling, breach of trust and gangsterism.
Following Vaillancourt's resignation, Duplessis took over the office.
But Duplessis's tenure was short-lived.
When the city was put under trusteeship in June, Duplessis said he would stay on as mayor and work alongside trustees.
But a few weeks later, and only six months after he took office, Duplessis resigned in the wake of a scandal allegedly involving prostitutes and extortion.