ST-REMI, Que. - Quebec's anti-corruption squad has arrested the mayor of St-Remi, a city of roughly 7,000 just south of Montreal.
In a release issued this morning, the squad's commissioner confirms the arrest of Michel Lavoie, 58, on charges of fraud, conspiracy and breach of trust.
The squad alleges Lavoie used his influence as mayor to ensure projects in the city were developed and built by his close friends, relatives and business partners.
It's alleged he modified zoning regulations, altered requests for proposals and circumvented contract allocation rules.
Fraud and conspiracy charges have also been laid against Sebastien Lavoie, 36, whom media reports identify as the mayor's son.
Another man, Dominic Dorais, is charged with fraud, conspiracy and breach of trust, while a construction company bearing his name is charged with fraud.
Squad commissioner Robert Lafreniere says fraud and breach of trust are criminal acts with heavy consequences, both for the perpetrators and the residents who pay the price.
He says the squad's purpose is to fight these types of "reprehensible acts" that jeopardize the stability of local economies.