Montreal

'King of Laval' Gilles Vaillancourt granted full parole

Gilles Vaillancourt, who was sentenced to six years in prison, has been granted full parole after serving a third of his sentence.

Former Laval mayor was sentenced to 6 years for fraud, breach of trust, conspiracy to commit fraud

Former Laval mayor Gilles Vaillancourt has been granted a conditional release from prison. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)

Gilles Vaillancourt, who was sentenced to serve six years in prison, has been granted full parole after serving a third of his sentence.

The Parole Board of Canada said it has no reasonable motive to believe that he "would commit a violent offence if released before the legal expiration of [his] sentence" and therefore recommended he be released.

The former mayor of Laval was sentenced in December 2016 for fraud, breach of trust and conspiracy to commit fraud. He was eligible for parole thanks to a plea deal struck last year with the Crown.

The 77-year-old will have to respect certain conditions: provide all financial information required to satisfy the parole supervisor, not get involved in paid or volunteer political activities, and not become responsible for financial activities of another person or group.

Originally faced 12 charges

Vaillancourt was the mayor of Laval for 23 years until his arrest in 2013 as part of a sweep by the province's anti-corruption unit, known by its French acronym, UPAC.

He was originally facing 12 charges, including conspiracy, fraud, influence peddling, breach of trust and gangsterism.

The gangsterism charges were dropped as part of a plea deal, which he reached with the Crown in November 2016. It called for a six-year prison sentence, with parole eligibility after one year.

As part of that agreement, Vaillancourt admitted that he knew about a system of corruption and collusion within his administration at Laval city hall.

His plea deal included waiving his pension and a commitment to repay the city $7 million from a Swiss bank account, as well as turn over more than $1 million in other assets, including his condominium.

In its report, the parole board said Vaillancourt never posed a problem for security staff and had good behaviour.