Strathcona County politician claims blackmail over explicit photos
Ward 8 Councillor Jason Gariepy admits to sending explicit photos of himself
A Strathcona County councillor says he is the victim of political blackmail.
Ward 8 Councillor Jason Gariepy has admitted to sending explicit photos of himself to someone he met online.
He says the photos were then forwarded to his wife and to the mayor of Strathcona County.
"I believe the effort was to blackmail me," he explained on Wednesday.
However, the married father of two will not say what the alleged blackmailer has asked for.
"Anyone who thinks they can intimidate or bully me is going to be mistaken. You can not 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."
Strathcona County Mayor Linda Osinchuk responded to Gariepy’s allegation in a statement released Wednesday.
"This unfortunate and unpleasant event caught me completely by surprise. My only knowledge of the situation is the Councillor's statement in open session and the story in the Sherwood Park News."
Osinchuk said the package that was reportedly sent to the county did not reach her.
"I can not comment on what did or did not happen – nor should I. This is a personal situation between the councillor and his family."
RCMP have confirmed that Gariepy filed a complaint, but would not provide any further comment on the situation.
Gariepy said he is embarrassed by the affair, but added that it has been worse for his family.
He said his first priority now is to work things out with his wife.
Gariepy hasn't decided if he will run in next month's municipal election.