POLITICS

Michael Applebaum, Former Montreal Mayor, Jailed For Corruption

03/30/2017 06:04 EDT | Updated 03/30/2017 06:04 EDT

MONTREAL — Former Montreal mayor Michael Applebaum was sentenced Thursday to one year behind bars on corruption-related charges and then promised he would emerge a better man when released.

He also received two years' probation.

Applebaum, 54, was handcuffed before he addressed the court and told the judge he would be a model inmate who would take the time during his incarceration to consider his past actions and reflect on his future.

He said he did a lot of good as an elected official and will do good acts again in some way.

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Former Montreal mayor Michael Applebaum leaves the courtroom in Montreal on Sept. 12, 2016. (Photo: Ryan Remiorz/CP)

His lawyer, Pierre Teasdale, said the sentence was "in accordance with what we might have expected.''

Asked whether his client had expected to be sent to jail, he replied, "He had been warned (that possibility) wasn't to be excluded.''

The charges stemmed from two separate deals between 2007 and 2010 when Applebaum was mayor of the city's largest borough.

Found guilty of pocketing $37,000 in kickbacks

Applebaum was found guilty of pocketing about $37,000 in kickbacks from developers and engineering firms through his former aide.

The prosecution had sought a two-year prison sentence followed by two years' probation after his conviction in January on eight charges.

Teasdale had countered with a recommendation of either a suspended sentence or a mixed sentence that could include probation, community work and non-consecutive jail time.

The maximum sentence was five years.

Applebaum served as interim mayor of Montreal between November 2012 and June 2013 after a lengthy political career at the municipal level.

His criminal case centred on the testimony of a former aide, Hugo Tremblay, who said the longtime local politician introduced him to illicit fundraising.

During the trial, Tremblay testified he led developers and businessmen to believe their projects would be delayed or not approved unless they made a supplemental cash contribution.

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Michael Applebaum served as interim mayor of Montreal from 2012 to 2013. (Photo: Graham Hughes/CP)

The charges involved two projects — a student residence and an aquatic centre.

The court heard the total amount sought for the two projects was $60,000, which Tremblay testified was then split with Applebaum.

Applebaum did not take the stand at his trial, but his lawyer argued the Crown witnesses testified against him in an effort to save their own skin.

Witnesses at his sentencing hearing said Applebaum has endured tremendous hardship since his fall from grace.

Because of the notoriety surrounding his case, Applebaum has struggled to work in real estate.

His family and his rabbi also expressed concerns about his physical and mental health.

Teasdale confirmed in late February there would be no appeal of the conviction.