Sask. MLA drug admissions true: report

Former Saskatchewan MLA Serge LeClerc was involved with illegal drugs and engaged in "unethical" and "highly inappropriate" behaviour while still a legislator, a report from the province's conflict of interest commissioner says.

Former Saskatchewan MLA Serge LeClerc was involved with illegal drugs and engaged in "unethical" and "highly inappropriate" behaviour while still a legislator, a report from the province's conflict of interest commissioner says.

LeClerc, who was elected in 2007 to represent the riding of Saskatoon Northwest, resigned from the Saskatchewan Party caucus in April and as member of the legislative assembly in August.

Before the caucus resignation, the CBC received an anonymous package that contained a recording in which a voice, alleged to be LeClerc's, made references to using marijuana and having cocaine brought to his residence.

LeClerc said at the time that the voice sounded a lot like him, but he denied the drug use and suggested the tapes were doctored, using words stitched together from old recordings.

On Tuesday, after an RCMP expert's examination of the audiotapes, conflict of interest commissioner Ron Barclay said in a 32-page report tabled in the legislature that he's satisfied LeClerc spoke the words on the tape and there was no doctoring.

"According to the content of the recordings, it is my opinion that Mr. LeClerc smoked marijuana during the time period that he was an MLA, and that he had an unidentified person bring cocaine to his residence during the time period he was an MLA," wrote Barclay.

LeClerc didn't say that he consumed cocaine, but "having someone to your home who is in possession of such a substance is not acting in an appropriate manner, Barclay said.

City police investigated the matter and said earlier this year that no charges would be laid.

Before LeClerc resigned from the legislature, the Speaker asked Barclay to look into the tape.

Barclay's report said LeClerc engaged in drug activity that was both "unethical and unlawful" and was in clear violation of the legislature's Code of Ethical Conduct.

Of particular concern to Barclay, he said, was that LeClerc removed and threw away the hard drive from his government laptop computer.

That hard drive, which was government property, could have been crucial in exonerating — or implicating — LeClerc's participation in the audio or alleged online chat transcripts, Barclay said.

The typed material that was part of the package examined by the RCMP was alleged to be transcripts of online chats between an unknown person and someone named "Serge." 

Barclay also said there's not much known about the anonymous person who sent the material to the CBC, but the person "may have motives of retribution."

There's no evidence the transcripts mentioning "Serge" are genuine, Barclay said.   

The audio was more convincing, however, he said.

In one segment of the tape discussed in Barclay's report, a male voice that experts confirmed is LeClerc says, "I had one guy come over with a little coke a few weeks ago."

A little later, the person says, "I had a guy over that brought some weed over and we smoked up."

At the same time the report on the audiotapes was released Tuesday, a second report by Barclay was also tabled in the legislature.

It dealt with allegations LeClerc had his constituency assistant do work for his private company, setting up speaking engagements for LeClerc, who is a longtime motivational speaker with an anti-drug message.

Barclay concluded he discovered no violation of the legislature's conflict-of-interest rules, although with regard to the spending rules, it might be a different story.  

At the legislature, Premier Brad Wall said Barclay's findings were troubling, but he also said LeClerc did some good in his role speaking to students about drugs.

LeClerc, who is said to be ill, wasn't immediately available for comment.