“Father Joe Leclair facing impaired driving charges in Guelph” & related articles

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1310 News

Posted Jun 8, 2016 4:43 am EDT

GUELPH, Ont. – A local priest who stole tens of thousands of dollars from his church in the Glebe, is in trouble again.

Father Joe Leclair will be in court next week to face impaired driving charges in Guelph, where he has been living and serving as an associate pastor for about a year.

Leclair, 58, was pulled over by provincial police during an evening ride program on the Victoria Day long weekend. He was charged with impaired driving and having an open container in the car.

His license has been suspended for 90 days and his car was impounded for seven days.

Leclair was pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish in the Glebe and pleaded guilty in 2014 to defrauding the church coffers out of $130, 000 over a five-year-period, saying he took the money from church collection plates and gambled the money away at Casino Lac Leamy.

Leclair has been diagnosed as a pathological gambler, and has admitted to struggling with addiction.

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Father Joe LeClair facing impaired driving charge in Guelph

CFRA (Ottawa)

A former Ottawa priest will be in a Guelph courtroom next week, facing an impaired driving charge.

A news release from Wellington County OPP says a man, stopped at a R.I.D.E. check in Guelph on May 21, showed signs of being intoxicated.

Police say, upon further testing, 58-year-old Joseph LeClair was charged with impaired driving, as well as having an open container of liquor. His license was suspended for 90 days, and his 2008 Volkswagen was impounded for 7 days.

Father LeClair was the pastor at Ottawa’s Blessed Sacrament Church, and had hosted a Sunday morning radio show on CFRA. He pleaded guilty in 2014 to stealing $130,000 from parishioners, fueling a gambling problem. He was sentenced to a year in prison, and was released early on good behaviour. He spent some time in Moncton, New Brunswick before moving to Guelph.

St. Joseph Catholic Church, in Guelph, lists LeClair as an associate pastor on its website.

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Former P.E.I. priest facing drunk driving charges

Journal Pioneer

08 June 2016

FILE PHOTO: Father Joseph LeClair announced during Easter weekend masses that he will be leaving Blessing Sacrament Parish in Ottawa.

Ottawa Citizen reporting Rev. Joseph LeClair (Father Joe) pulled over in Guelph during Victoria Day long weekend

A priest, originally from Prince Edward Island who has struggled with addiction, is back before the courts.The Ottawa Citizen is reporting that Rev. Joseph LeClair, who most referred to as simply “Father Joe” is facing impaired driving charges.

The Ontario Provincial Police said in a release that LeClair, 58, was pulled over in Guelph over the Victoria Day long weekend. He was charged with impaired driving and having open liquor in his car. LeClair is expected in a Guelph courtroom next Tuesday.

The priest, who is originally from Tignish, pleaded guilty and was sentenced in 2014 to stealing more than $130,000 from an Ottawa area church.

LeClair is the former pastor of Blessed Sacrament in the Glebe area of Ottawa. He pleaded guilty on Jan. 20, 2014 of theft and fraud more than a year after the Ottawa Citizen raised concerns about financial irregularities at the church. The newspaper had discovered LeClair had incurred $490,000 in personal credit card bills during the years 2009 and 2010.

More than $137,000 of those credit card charges were the result of advances taken at Casino du Lac-Leamy.

Ottawa police launched an 11-month investigation. Following that investigation, LeClair was charged.

The Crown argued at the time that LeClair had committed the “highest level of breach of trust”.

However, LeClair’s defence lawyer told the court the widely-loved priest suffered from mounting anxiety that led to heavy drinking. That drinking eventually led to the priest drinking six to eight scotches a night.

LeClair, whose brother is Neil LeClair, a former West Prince MLA and cabinet minister in Premier Robert Ghiz’s government, was sentenced to one year in jail.

Following his release, he was assigned to a parish in Moncton but had a relapse and was later reassigned to Guelph.

LeClair is away from his current church, Saint Joseph, for the next two weeks.

Officials with the Archdiocese of Ottawa told the Ottawa Citizen that church officials were aware of the charges but would not be commenting any further.

1 Response to “Father Joe Leclair facing impaired driving charges in Guelph” & related articles

  1. John says:

    Where has Father Joe Leclair been moved to?? and why?

    He has left Hamilton. No sign of him in Ottawa.

    https://hamiltondiocese.com/news/2018/April/2018-clergy-appointments

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