Lewd photos of an Edmonton-area city councillor leaked to his family and co-workers are an attempt to blackmail him out of public life, the beleaguered politician says.
Strathcona County Councillor Jason Gariepy says the explicit images of him being circulated by an unnamed source are real and are being used against him to push him out of public office.
The married municipal politician – and father of two – says he sent the photos to a woman he met online, images that have now resurfaced and are now casting a dark shadow over Gariepy's career, mere weeks before he seeks re-election during the Alberta municipal ballot on Oct. 21.
“This week two packages were (sent) to Strathcona County and my home,” Gariepy told the Sherwood Park News.
“Inside were e-mails, texts and photos I shared with an individual I met online.”
The packages include online exchanges between Gariepy and the unknown individual in the form of nude photos of himself, explicit e-mails and text messages, reports the Sherwood Park News.
Gariepy admits he's behind those exchanges but told the CBC he won't be bullied by them.
“Anyone who thinks they can intimidate or bully me is going to be mistaken. You cannot blackmail me for this and despite your best efforts I will fight for my family and I will fight for the residents of Strathcona County... and that's all I have to say," he said.
The entire episode has been hard on him, Gariepy told the CBC, but it's been 10 times harder on his family.
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The CBC says Gariepy has not said whether or not he will follow through with plans to run in next month's province-wide municipal elections.
Strathcona County is located directly east of the City of Edmonton and has a population of approximately 100,000 people.
Gariepy is only the latest Alberta politician to find himself in hot water after their extra-marital forays were brought to public light.
Provincial MLA Mike Allen was booted out of the Progressive Conservative caucus after U.S authorities charged him with paying for a prostitute earlier this summer.
The Fort McMurray MLA was arrested during a sting in July, while in Minnesota on official government business.
But it's not just Alberta politicians paying the price for inappropriate online behaviour. Remember Anthony Wiener?