This is a strange one.
The CBC lead the story with the politician who is at the centre of it on Friday.
MLA Serge LeClerc (Saskatoon Northwest) who was a former director of Saskachewan Teen Challenge (2000-2007) stepped done from provincial caucus Friday, after a 12 minute audio recording of an internet chat and a 60 page transcript surfaced. The discussion on the tape between two men was about sex and drugs. The transcript alleges many of the comments were made in 2009.
LeClerc said that while one of the people on the tape sounded a lot like him it could not be him. He said he had not used drugs in decades and that someone was attempting to smear him.
LeClerc told the CBC Friday he would submit to a drug test and turn the transcript and tape over to police.
Regina Police are investigating.
LeClerc told media Monday he had given his personal laptop to his fiancee and her children in Ontario.
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall said LeClerc would be seated as an independent and his nomination suspended while allegations were investigated.
60 year old LeClerc was elected as a Saskatchewan Party MLA in 2007 and until Friday was legislative secretary to the Corrections Minister and a member of the Human Services committee. He won the riding by 2000 votes and had been nominated to run again for the party in 2011.
He told media he and the premier had discussed him heading up a new provincial drug program, and he had made the decision not to run in the next election prior to Friday’s allegations.
“This is a province known for its bloodsport politics … I’m too old and I’m not going to subject my family to that.
“You know, the people who know me well will stand behind me. They know me, they know my character and they know my lifestyle and they’ve known who I am for a long period of time. The people that don’t know me, it doesn’t matter, they can believe what they want to believe. And at the end of the day the people who hate me because they are NDP supporters will hate me no matter what evidence comes out,” he said, describing himself as “emotionally and psychologically drained.”
…LeClerc characterizes himself as former career criminal and drug addict who transformed his life after finding Christianity in prison and now counsels others as a motivational speaker.
He was not at the legislature Monday and he said he would apply for a stress medical leave. He said he was plagued by ill health from serious sinus problems, vertigo and the after-effects from beatings and head injuries he suffered as a criminal.
LeClerc said he was not considering resigning his seat until he explores all legal channels in his attempt to clear his name. Resignation could be an option in the future though, along with rejoining the government caucus or remaining as an independent MLA, he said.
He said he had hired a lawyer and had undergone full-spectrum drug testing during the weekend to show he was clean of drugs.
He won the party nomination for Saskatoon Northwest on March 25th.
LeClerc wrote a book about his past titled Untwisted:An Extraordinary Journey of Overcoming and Redemption. The book is promoted as a Canadian best seller. LeClerc bills himself on the motivational and faith based talk circuit as someone who went from ‘lawbreaker to lawmaker.’ His Twitter feed has been quiet. He had been posting chapter excerpts of his book on his site.
A LeClerc interview is headlined on the TV show 100 Huntley Street (Crossroads Christian Communication Inc.) as Ex Crime Kingpin Turns the Tables. The interview is in 3 parts on YouTube.
Update: The report by Ron Barclay, Conflict of Interest Commissioner, released November 22nd. This is one of two, the second report looks at the use of LeClerc’s legislative assistant and office equipment to work for his company, Career 7. LeClerc resigned the end of August and is in Ontario getting ready for cancer treatment.
More at The Regina Leader-Post