Michael Applebaum, the former mayor of Montreal who was found guilty of corruption-related charges in 2017, is back in court over his severance and transition pay from the city.
Applebaum, 56, appeared in court on Wednesday, where lawyers for the City of Montreal argued he should have to return nearly $268,000 he received from the city following his resignation.
“The City of Montreal is determined to get the money that was stolen from Montrealers,” a spokesperson for Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante’s cabinet said in a statement.
“That is exactly what we will show during the trial.”
Applebaum would not comment on the case, but told reporters he is doing well.
“I’m sure many people are questioning how I’m doing. I can tell you I’m very healthy, I’m doing fine, I’m very happy with my private life and I will not comment on anything else,” he said, adding “I have a beautiful life and I’m enjoying myself,” before walking away.
Applebaum stepped down from his position in June 2013 after he was arrested on corruption and conspiracy charges. At the time, he categorically denied the allegations and received both severance and transition pay following his resignation.
The charges stemmed from crimes alleged to have occurred in two separate deals between 2007 and 2010 when he was mayor of the Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough.
In 2017, Applebaum was found guilty of eight corruption-related charges. He was later sentenced to one year in jail and two years of probation.
The city argues a law passed in 2016 by the provincial government, ordering former elected officials to return any transition payments if found guilty of crimes punishable by two or more years in prison, should retroactively apply to Applebaum.
Natalia Manole, the lawyer representing Applebaum, disagrees. She said there is no reason why the law should apply to Applebaum.
“My client’s position is that the law should not be applied retroactively because there is no indication whatsoever that the law should be applied retroactively,” she said.
“And the general rule is that laws are applied after their adoption.”
The hearing is expected to continue in court for the rest of the week.