Montreal ex-mayor Applebaum receives $267K in severance

Former Montreal mayor Michael Applebaum, who was arrested in June on 14 charges including fraud and conspiracy, has received thousands in severance pay.

Michael Applebaum charged with 14 offences, including fraud and breach of public trust

Michael Applebaum resigned after being arrested in June on 14 charges including fraud and conspiracy. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

The City of Montreal has confirmed that former mayor Michael Applebaum has received more than $267,000 in severance pay.

Applebaum resigned from office after being arrested in June on 14 charges including fraud and conspiracy.

He was selected as mayor by Montreal city council on Nov. 16, 2012, following the resignation of Gérald Tremblay amid allegations of corruption.

Applebaum's payout is over $50,000 more than his predecessor, who received a total of $216,000 after holding the mayor's office for more than a decade.

Payout breakdown

  • $108,204.90 for departure pay, based on average salary for 12 months before departure date.
  • $159,719 for transition pay, based on the number of years served on council

As mayor, Applebaum promised to clean up corruption at city hall and improve transparency among elected officials.

Quebec's anti-corruption unit, UPAC, said charges against Applebaum relate to obtaining permission and political support for two real estate projects in Montreal's Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough between 2006 and 2011, during which time he was the borough's mayor.

City spokesman Gonzalo Nunez said the law governing severance payouts does not take into account the reason for the end of time in office, except in the case of death.

He said the payments were authorized under the provincial law that governs elected officials.

"Nothing allows us to refuse payment of severance and transition allowances, despite reasons behind his resignation or the criminal charges against him," Nunez said.

Municipal party Vision Montréal wants to change that.

According to Olivier Lapierre, a spokesman for the party, the law allows the city to define who can receive a significant portion of severance payout

The only current requirement for transition pay is that officials must have served on council for at least 24 months before leaving.

Lapierre said Vision Montréal has plans to table a motion in August that would force the city to limit who can receive that allowance.

The party is expected release more details about its plans on Thursday.