Third Montreal-area mayor quits over corruption allegations

Mascouche Mayor Richard Marcotte. (JACQUES PHARAND/QMI AGENCY)

Mascouche Mayor Richard Marcotte. (JACQUES PHARAND/QMI AGENCY)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:23 PM ET

MASCOUCHE, Que. — The mayor of a Montreal suburb, who faces six criminal charges in an alleged kickback scheme, quit his job Friday afternoon.

Richard Marcotte, who was arrested in late April in Mascouche, just north of Montreal, had initially resisted calls to quit but the city became ungovernable after he was shouted down and booed out of council meetings.

Marcotte, 65, faces fraud, conspiracy, bribery and embezzlement charges.

He's accused of being part of a kickback scheme for the awarding of municipal construction contracts.

Mascouche's city manager met with councillors this week to discuss a severance package for the mayor who had been in power since 1991.

Such a package is prescribed by Quebec law and Marcotte is entitled to a six-figure golden handshake.

Quebec's municipal affairs minister, Sylvain Gaudreault, said Marcotte made the right choice by resigning because he had "lost credibility in the eyes of citizens."

Marcotte is the third Montreal-area mayor to quit this fall amid rampant allegations of a culture of corruption in Quebec politics.

Gerald Tremblay quit as mayor of Montreal on Nov. 5 after a campaign financing scandal and corrupt city engineers eroded his support.

Gilles Vaillancourt resigned as mayor of the Montreal suburb of Laval on Nov. 9 after police raided his home and bank amid allegations money was funnelled to Swiss bank accounts.


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