The interim mayor of a Quebec city already under trusteeship over corruption allegations says he was the victim of an extortion attempt but denies media reports that the attempt was linked to relations with a prostitute.
Alexandre Duplessis, the interim mayor of Laval who took the seat after longtime city head Gilles Vaillancourt was charged with corruption and resigned, held a brief news conference to insist he would remain in office while an investigation plays out.
“I will not be resigning just because of an extortion attempt against me,” Mr. Duplessis said. “I never received anything of a sexual character, I never had any favours of a sexual nature… people attempted to extort me.”
Mr. Duplessis offered scant details of the extortion attempt, saying only it involved two women. “People say all kinds of insidious, hateful things to me. As a public person, I’m called into all kinds of situations.”
Several Montreal media, citing police sources or the head of the escort service, reported Thursday that Mr. Duplessis attempted to hire an escort June 14 at his cottage in the Laurentian mountains and got into a dispute over payment.
La Presse reported Mr. Duplessis called the police after the two women, an escort and her driver, asked for increasing sums of money three times following the encounter.
Claude Poirier, a star crime reporter with his own Quebec television show, first reported early Thursday that the a prostitute had tried to extort a Quebec politician. The Surêté du Québec confirmed only that a man had complained about a dispute with an escort but would not confirm any identity. Two people were arrested and released following the complaint but charges have not been formally laid, according to the SQ.
Mr. Poirier reported Friday morning that the head of the escort service claims she has dozens of text messages from Mr. Duplessis.