Former right-hand man of Montreal Mayor Tremblay arrested

Frank Zampino, former president of the city of Montreal’s executive committee, was arrested for corruption Thursday. Zampino was also the former right-hand man of Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay.

According to Anne-Frédérick Laurence, a spokesperson for Quebec’s Permanent Anti-Corruption Unit, Zampino was arrested in an early morning raid while other arrests are allegedly in the pipeline. Laurence will be confirming details later today.

Zampino is the first high profile politician close to Mayor Tremblay ever been arrested by the anticorruption squads. Construction contractor Paolo Catania was also taken into custody Wednesday night at Pierre Elliot Trudeau Airport, where he was allegedly trying to board the plane. Projet Montréal praised the arrest of Zampino as proof that UPAC is producing results.

“Sometimes it seems like the investigation is taking too long, that it’s moving in a different direction,” said party chief Richard Bergeron: “But today we’re seeing the efforts of police have borne fruit.”

Mayor Tremblay seemed subtle. He simply told the council that justice should take its course and avoided answering any questions related to the recent arrests.

Apparently, the morning council meeting was aimed at designating Jeanne Mance as co-founder of Montreal so Tremblay strictly advised the council to focus on the related matter. On the other hand, the opposition parties have openly lauded the raid.

“We’ve been waiting for this for five years,” said Anie Samson of Vision Montreal, council leader for the main opposition party. “We were the ones who first pointed out that Mr. Zampino had vacationed on (construction magnate Antonio) Accurso’s yacht. I don’t think Mayor Tremblay is going to have a very good day today.”

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