Arlington council member plans to resign amid controversy

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by CRAIG CIVALE

WFAA

Posted on February 10, 2012 at 2:49 PM

Updated Saturday, Feb 11 at 1:22 AM

ARLINGTON -- Council member Mel LeBlanc will resign next week, according to a statement released Friday afternoon by the City of Arlington.

LeBlanc notified council members by e-mail that he would turn in his resignation letter, effective Feb. 14. He also stated he would not run for reelection. He had begun filing for reelection earlier this week.

LeBlanc’s District 1 seat will remain vacant until May 12.
 
“This episode has been difficult for all of us," said Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck, in the released statement. "Mel has made a good decision for himself, his family and the city. We wish him the best. The City Council will continue to move forward and to focus on our work for the Arlington community.”

Mayor Cluck told News 8 said he feels for LeBlanc, but the ordeal was a distraction for the council.

"You work with somebody for six years, you kind of know them well, know the family well and know the wife well," Cluck said. "And then all of a sudden all of this comes down, and sure, I feel bad."

Council members just learned the details of a July police report that was released by News 8. Officers were called to LeBlanc's home because his wife believed he was having a relapse. He admitted to officers he had been reaching out to prostitutes to get drugs before he went into rehab.

Joe Bruner is a friend of Mel LeBlanc's. He said it was "the right choice."

"There are some embarrassing issues there," Bruner said. "They just need to go away. They don't need to be out there."

He also said LeBlanc had lost some of the public's trust.

"The perception is out there, and that's critical to obtaining trust and keeping trust with the people," Bruner said. "And that matters so much for an elected official."

The filing period for LeBlanc’s seat is currently open and will remain open until March 5. Early voting will take place from April 30 to May 8. 

LeBlanc did apologize for the pain he may have caused his colleagues.

LeBlanc had no comment Friday for News 8.

E-mail ccivale@wfaa.com

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