Alexandre Duplessis, interim mayor of Laval, Que., resigns amid solicitation reports

Matthew Coutts
Daily Brew

If you live in the Montreal area and don't currently know the name of your mayor, just don't bother.

Just hold off. Wait it out. Like they say about the weather, wait a week and it will change. Laval, Que., Montreal's little brother, just lost its second mayor in eight months.

Alexandre Duplessis, the interim replacement who took the helm after Gilles Vaillancourt resigned amid corruption allegations, just quit.

Duplessis announced he was leaving office Friday afternoon, just hours after denying that he solicited prostitutes and vowing to stay in office.

An official statement, translated from French, said his resignation was effective immediately.

According to Laval city bylaws, council will now be asked to elect a new interim mayor who will hold office until the actual municipal election is held in November.

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Sound familiar, dunnit? That's because Montreal just went through this itself.

Laurent Blanchard was elected to be Montreal's new interim mayor earlier this week, taking the place of Michael Applebaum who took the place of Gerald Tremblay.

Both of Blanchard’s predecessors resigned amid corruption allegations. Applebaum stepped down after he was charged with 14 counts related to suspect real estate deals. Tremblay has never been charged and has denied any wrongdoing.

Meantime, Vaillancourt, Laval's former mayor, was charged last month with several counts, including gangsterism, six months after resigning his post and claiming innocence.

“We’re facing allegations that, even without proof, are altering the reputations of those in whom you have placed your trust. I am one of these people, and I have been deeply hurt. Regardless of what I do or say, it is clear that the damage has been done," Vaillancourt said at the time of his resignation.

That appears to be what Duplessis is doing here: clearing the way for someone not soured by allegations of impropriety. CBC News reports that, earlier on Friday, Duplessis denied soliciting or receiving sexual favours, but said he has been the victim of an extortion attempt.

"I never solicited, I never received anything of a sexual nature," he told reporters. "I never received [anything] of a sexual nature and I never received favours of a sexual nature."

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Police sourced told the news agency the allegations surround an incident on June 14, during which Duplessis allegedly called a prostitute to his chalet but cancelled the encounter after either the woman or her female driver recognized him.

The source says the women insisted on being paid. Duplessis confirmed he filed a complaint with Quebec police but did not address the circumstances.

Duplessis is not currently facing any charges, which should make choosing a replacement somewhat less controversial. He's just another Montreal-area mayor stepping down amid suspicious circumstances.

And the wheels keep spinning.