The average Canadian would take almost 10 years to earn a quarter of a million dollars, but former Montreal mayor Michael Applebaum made that despite being indicted for 14 criminal charges.
Applebaum earned the package over many years working for the city’s government in roles such as borough mayor, executive-body chairman and recently interim mayor. Applebaum held the mayorship for just seven months, taking over for Gérald Tremblay, who also resigned amid allegations of corruption.
Applebaum received a total of $267,923.90 on his departure from the government.
After police arrested him on corruption charges in a kickbacks-for-land investigation in his borough, Applebaum claimed he was innocent, and said he would fight fight the charges, but said he would step down in the meantime.
City officials said Applebaum was entitled to the severance pay under provincial law, and there is no legal reason for the employer to withhold it – even if Applebaum is found guilty.
“Nothing allows the refusal of payment of departure and transitional allowance to Mr Applebaum,” a city hall spokesperson said in a statement. “Neither the reason given for his departure nor the charges against him have an effect on his rights under the pension plan for elected municipal officials.”
The payment includes $108,204.90 in departure pay, as well as $159,719.00 in a “transitional allocation”.
Opposition politician Louise Harel wanted to see the rules changed, and would bring a motion that would see severance packages withheld if an elected official’s departure was “deemed invalid”.