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October 10, 2012
Police raid Laval mayor’s home and office
Dozens of police officers raided the personal residence and the city-hall offices of the mayor of Quebec’s third-biggest municipality, Montreal-area Laval.
The searches aimed at Gilles Vaillancourt make him the highest-profile politician in the province, so far, to be targeted by one of the many recent raids by the new police anti-corruption squad.
About 70 officers from the provincial police anti-corruption unit were searching the different locations on Oct. 4; Vaillancourt was not home when the officers arrived there, his press secretary told The Canadian Press.
Laval city hall was evacuated after the raids began, around 4 p.m.
A spokeswoman for the anti-corruption unit wouldn’t say what was being seized but she confirmed material was being gathered as part of an ongoing investigation.
Vaillancourt is not accused of any crime. The mayor has in the past expressed outrage on occasions when accusers tied him to allegations of crooked cash dealings.
A powerful figure in municipal politics, Vaillancourt has been in office for 23 years although his reign has become increasingly marked by controversy.
A news report last month on illegal campaign financing said a onetime fundraiser for the Parti Quebecois claimed to have received $10,000 in cash from Vaillancourt during the 1994 provincial election.
It wasn’t the first time Vaillancourt had been forced to deny such activities. He also denied offering money during a provincial election to Liberal Vincent Auclair and former PQ cabinet minister Serge Menard.
News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc., 2012
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