Duplessis quits

By Robert Frank

Laval’s interim mayor for the past six months, Alexandre Duplessis, 42, announced last Friday, June 28, that he had tendered his resignation, effective immediately.

That once again left Chomedey district councilor and the deputy chair of the city’s executive committee Basile Angelopoulos at the helm of the city as pro-mayor, until councilors could be convened to elect another interim mayor to succeed Duplessis until the next municipal election, Nov. 3.

“City council has authorized Mayor Duplessis’ resignation and we do not yet know the date when the special municipal council meeting will be held,” city official Benoît Collette said in an interview as The Suburban went to press.

“At this point, Mr. Angelopoulos retains all the powers to convene the election of the next mayor,” Collette reassured. “The executive committee will continue to administer the city. Though it doesn’t have the same powers as the the mayor, it has sufficient authority to do so.”

Angleopoulos also briefly ran the city after Laval’s previous mayor, Gilles Vaillancourt, resigned last year.

The next regular city council meeting won’t be held until next Monday, July 8.

Duplessis resigned following reports that he had complained to Quebec provincial police about an alleged attempt at extorting him by claiming that he had engaged the services of a sex trade worker.

In a media briefing hours before his June 28 resignation, Duplessis insisted that he “never, never, never received sexual services” and vowed to remain in office as mayor.

“I will not quit,” he said at that time, before reversing his position during the afternoon.

Laval was placed under provincial trusteeship four weeks ago, after accusations surfaced implicating Duplessis and most of Laval’s city councilors in illegal campaign financing and laundering the proceeds of allegedly criminal collusion in the awarding of municipal construction contracts.

Opposition mayoral candidates Robert Bordeleau (Parti au service du citoyen), Marc Demers (Mouvement lavallois) and Jean-Claude Gobé (Action Laval), have since been calling for Duplessis and all city councilors to resign and permit the provincially appointed municipal commission run the city directly.

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