LAVAL--The City of Laval's already sullied reputation took another big hit on Friday when Alexandre Duplessis resigned as interim mayor after getting mixed up in an sex scandal involving escorts and extortion.

"The City of Laval announces that Alexandre Duplessis has tendered his resignation as interim mayor," read a statement on the City of Laval's website. "Mr. Duplessis provided a letter of resignation to the city clerk; his resignation takes effect immediately."

Earlier Friday Duplessis had been bullish in refusing to resign, insisting he "never received any sexual services" over and over again at a news conference.

Ultimately, however, Duplessis exits as head of the province's third-largest city much the same way he assumed it, under a cloud of suspicion after Gilles Vaillancourt had stepped down over corruption allegations following a 23-year stranglehold on power.

Duplessis quit after becoming the target of an extortion attempt that resulted in the arrests of two women.

The City of Laval says it will have a new interim mayor by next Friday, and a special council session will launch the process on Saturday. The new mayor will fill the position until the November 3 election.

Duplessis explained that as a public figure "the past few months, for me and my colleagues, have received an immense amount of media coverage."

He said that he has been subject to several threats, and that in the past few weeks there were some that were particularly disturbing.

"I immediately contacted police. There was an investigation and police made arrests," said Duplessis.

Over the past 24 hours there have been several reports that Duplessis was the target of an extortion attempt, and that it was the result of a disagreement after hiring an escort. The Journal de Montreal reported that Duplessis exchanged over 100 text messages with the head of an agency over the type of escort and activities to be performed.

Duplessis has denied the reports.

"I have never engaged anyone for sexual services," said Duplessis, repeating the statement several times, saying he did not know the names of the two women arrested by officers for the extortion attempt.

"I never received any, any, never any sexual service or favour."

Police had confirmed there was an extortion attempt involving prostitutes, but would not confirm the name of anyone involved.

"Laval is under trusteeship right now so if they resign it won't change anything for now," said Robert Bordeleau of the Parti au Service du Citoyen du Laval.

Trusteeship was imposed on the city of Laval at the beginning of June after fresh allegations that almost every councillor in Laval was corrupt.

Duplessis, the interim mayor, was named as one councillor who took part in illegal party financing.

Florent Gagne leads a team of three people overseeing all spending by the city.

"Going from there Mr. Gagne and his team can run the city for the citizens, because you've got 21 puppies [as councillors]."