Jason Gariepy, the Strathcona County councillor embroiled in a recent sex scandal, plans to seek reelection in the upcoming municipal election – with his wife standing by his side in support.
Gariepy admitted earlier this month lewd photos had been leaked to his family and co-workers, after he sent the pictures to a woman he met online.
Gariepy's wife, Monica Gariepy, signed her husband's nomination papers Monday morning, speaking publicly for the first time since her husband broke news of his indiscretions.
Monica Gariepy told the Edmonton Journal the couple are undergoing marrige counselling and she is "working on forgiving" her husband.
“There's issues, but sometimes you’ve got to stand up and do the hard route -- and this is the hard route,” she told CBC News.
“Jason was a good councillor before and he's going to be a good councillor after – hopefully even better. We will be working through personal issues and hopefully that will make him an even better person.”
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Gariepy previously admitted the photos were sent to the media, his wife and the mayor's office. He said he shared nude photos, explicit e-mails and text messages with an unidentified woman he met on the website ashleymadison.com – a website designed for people searching for an affair.
He also revealed to the Edmonton Sun he attempted to have an intimate night with a woman he met while on a conference in Toronto, as well as going to strip clubs with other councillors.
“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 earlier this month.
Gariepy told CBC News it is his wife's support which encouraged him to seek re-election.
“I've got the support of my wife – and if she couldn't find it in her heart to forgive me and for us to move on, there's no way I could have the confidence to go up to the residents and say ‘give me a second chance.’“
Gariepy told the Journal he decided to run because he feels he can bring a lot of experience to what will be an inexperienced council, although the decision was the "most excruciating decision" the couple has ever made.
Strathcona County is located directly east of the City of Edmonton and has a population of approximately 100,000 people.