NEWS

Laval trusteeship to be lifted next month

11/18/2013 12:37 EST | Updated 01/25/2014 04:01 EST
The City of Laval only has a few weeks left after sever months under provincial trusteeship.

The Quebec government stepped in last June after a witness at the Quebec corruption inquiry testified that then-interim mayor Alexandre Duplessis, was among the willing participants in a widespread illegal political-financing scheme.

Today the Quebec municipal commission says it has decided to lift the trusteeship on Dec. 9, after receiving a recommendation from the team of delegates who oversee the city.

The head of the commission, Denis Marsolais, said newly elected Mayor Marc Demers' willingness to work with the trustees contributed to their 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's city hall first grabbed headlines when the "King of Laval" Gilles Vaillancourt, resigned as mayor in November 2012 amid mounting pressure from an anti-corruption unit (UPAC) investigation and testimony before the province's corruption inquiry.

Vaillancourt headed the city for a total of six terms over 23 years.

The former mayor, who has maintained his innocence, is also charged with 12 corruption-related offences including conspiracy, fraud, influence peddling, breach of trust and gangsterism. 

Following Vaillancourt's resignation, interim mayor Alexandre 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.

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