SHERWOOD PARK, Alta. -- A Strathcona County councillor says he is being blackmailed to not seek re-election after lewd correspondence and explicit images of him were mailed to his wife and the county’s mayor.
At a council meeting on Tuesday, Jason Gariepy admitted he had engaged in an explicit online exchange, which includes e-mails, text messages and nude photos of himself. The married father of two claims that the exchange is being used as an extortion attempt to dissuade him from seeking re-election.
The correspondence also includes Gariepy’s retelling of an intimate night he had with a woman in Toronto, but the two stopped short of sex due to the lack of a condom.
“This week two packages were (sent) to Strathcona County and my home,” Gariepy said. “Inside were e-mails, texts and photos I shared with an individual I met online.”
He alleged that the information, released just two weeks before the Sept. 23 nomination day, is intended to defame him and hurt his family.
“I accept responsibility and apologize for my actions, but I cannot accept the deliberate actions to bully, intimidate and coerce me,” he said.
Gariepy said he created multiple copies of the document and sent it to the county’s RCMP detachment, his lawyer and QMI Agency.
Police have not yet launched an investigation of Gariepy’s allegation, Cpl. Darren Anderson said.
“I am taken aback that measures to that extreme are being taken,” Strathcona County Mayor Linda Osinchuk said about the allegations, noting that she had not seen the contents of the package delivered to the county. “I am sure some clarity will come through in regards to the intention (of the information). I don’t think this community lives that way and works that way. It is unfortunate.
“I am saddened.”
First elected to Ward 8 in 2007, Gariepy has served two terms as councilor for that area.