A former Ottawa priest jailed for stealing $130,000 from his parish has joined the clergy at a New Brunswick church after being released from custody on good behaviour.



Father Joe LeClair joined Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity Parish near Moncton, NB as an assistant priest in January 2015, church staff told CBC News.

LeClair, a diagnosed pathological gambler, pleaded guilty to defrauding Ottawa's Blessed Sacrament Church over the course of five years, between 2006 and 2011.

He was sentenced to one year in jail but released in Nov. 2014 after serving two-thirds of his sentence.

LeClair is originally from Prince Edward Island. He became known as a popular and charismatic priest at Blessed Sacrament in the Glebe. He left the parish in May 2011 after the Archdiocese of Ottawa launched an audit of the church's finances.

At the time of his guilty plea in January 2014, the Archdiocese of Ottawa promised to work with LeClair to rejoin the ministry. 

"Aware of his many talents and his 25 years of effective pastoral ministry, we will work with Father LeClair in his desire to return to the exercise of his priestly ministry," the statement said.

 The Archdiocese of Ottawa has refused to comment further since that time.