SREDA president Tim LeClair on immediate leave
Move comes after LeClair tells CBC he has not filed tax returns in nearly a decade
Tim LeClair, the person in charge of selling Saskatoon overseas, is accused of not filing his taxes for nearly a decade and has been placed on leave from his position with the Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority.
For the past four years, Tim LeClair has travelled the world trying to lure potential investors to Saskatoon.
As president of the authority, known as SREDA, he has gone to China with Mayor Don Atchison, as well as to Spain, the Netherlands and Italy with a coalition of businesses and government officials from across Canada.
Now, the public face of Saskatoon business overseas is charged with not filing his taxes in nearly a decade.
LeClair is scheduled to stand trial in May charged with not filing tax returns for nine years
I had some pretty tough circumstances, some of them of my own making.- Tim LeClair
The nine-count information alleges that he failed to file tax returns between 2003 and 2011, including statements of assets, income and expenses.
In an interview, LeClair admitted he didn't file the returns.
"No, we're not disputing that," he said. "I had some pretty tough circumstances, some of them of my own making, in the last number of years. Some of that obviously put me in a big hole and I'm dealing with it appropriately now."
LeClair said that the reasons for not filing the returns will come out at trial.
Chair Bruce Richet said the board would meeting to discuss the possible implications of its president facing a trial.
On Friday afternoon, Richet released a statement saying LeClair had been placed on leave.
"We take these charges very seriously," Richet said. "Mr. LeClair is on immediate leave while we conduct our investigation. Once our investigation is complete we will be prepared to speak to the issue."
LeClair said he didn't tell anyone about the matter because it didn't affect how he did his job.
"They're private matters and they don't impact what I do on a day-to-day basis," he said.
LeClair's trial is scheduled for May 15.
SREDA was formed in 1992 to work with the city and province to bring investment to Saskatoon and the surrounding area.