EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

November 2, 2013

LeBlanc target of Halloween-themed attack

By Brian Messenger
bmessenger@eagletribune.com

---- — METHUEN — In a Halloween-themed political attack, the state Republican party identified Methuen City Council candidate Robert LeBlanc one of “six Massachusetts Democrats that will make your skin crawl.”

LeBlanc has come under fire this campaign over claims he was banned from Greater Lawrence Technical School for stalking a male high school student in 2005, among other allegations — all of which LeBlanc has denied.

LeBlanc, 68, of 2 Plumwood Drive, who works as a lawyer for the state Democratic party, has dismissed the controversy as a personal attack intended to harm his chances in Tuesday’s municipal election.

But the allegations were enough for the Massachusetts Republican Party to feature LeBlanc Thursday on a Halloween-inspired list along with U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, state Attorney General Martha Coakley and three state representatives.

“One-party rule on Beacon Hill is a horror story for taxpayers,” said Mass. GOP Chairwoman Kirsten Hughes. “The despicable actions of these six individuals are appalling, they should be scared for their jobs.”

LeBlanc fired back during an interview with The Eagle-Tribune.

“Like most things coming out of the state Republican party, I don’t think much of it,” said LeBlanc. “Have these children have so little to do? Their party is crumbling beneath them.”

Mass. GOP officials in early October called on LeBlanc to end his candidacy for councilor-at-large. LeBlanc is one of five candidates seeking three seats, along with fellow challengers Sharon Birchall, Daniel Grayton and James Jajuga and incumbent Joyce Campagnone.

The Mass. GOP list and associated press release states, “Democratic elected officials and candidates in Massachusetts have been scaring voters year-round. Below are six spooky examples that will make you check the door locks.”

While criticisms of the other five Democrats varied, LeBlanc was singled out for recently being “confronted with his disturbing past.”

“LeBlanc, a lawyer by trade, was served police reports for stalking and harassing a high school student and another citizen in public settings,” reads the list. “Now if that isn’t alarming enough, when confronted with these legal documents, LeBlanc denied the improper behavior as well as ever seeing the report.”

The Eagle-Tribune reported in early October that LeBlanc — a lawyer and former Methuen town manager — was sent letters banning him from the campus of Greater Lawrence Technical School (GLTS) in 2005, and from all Barnes & Noble bookstores in 2002. LeBlanc told the newspaper the letters are baseless

Also in October, WBZ-TV reported that LeBlanc “stalked ... and propositioned” former GLTS student Kevin Marr in 2005, prompting the then-senior to file a police report and GLTS to issue LeBlanc a no-trespass letter.

WBZ-TV also cited a police report from 2000 in which LeBlanc allegedly followed a male customer into a Barnes & Noble bathroom and “touched himself inappropriately” in front of a urinal.

LeBlanc has not been charged in connection with any of the allegations.

In an emailed statement, Mass. GOP Spokeswoman Emmalee Kalmbach said Thursday that LeBlanc’s “history of inappropriate actions and harassment make him unfit for any office, municipal or statewide.”

On Thursday, LeBlanc said he is planning to file a defamation suit, though who it will be filed against is still “yet to be determined,” he said.

“I boast about my integrity and honesty because it’s the truth,” said LeBlanc. “And I’ll attack these false allegations because it’s not the truth.”