Charles Smith, an assistant political science professor at the University of Saskatchewan’s St. Thomas More College, said if Lorje is found to have broken the law she will have a "professional obligation" to resign. "I think she’d have to step down," Smith said. "I don’t see how she could stay on."
Regardless of the outcome of the police investigation, the "whiff of scandal" now surrounding Lorje will "dog her over the next two years," make a re-election bid challenging and "make it very difficult for her to act and do the work she was elected to do," Smith added.
After her colleagues sanctioned her Monday, Lorje told reporters she had "no intention of resigning."
She apologized for the breach, but maintained she did not know she was breaking council’s code of conduct when she sent a document to "a trusted adviser" for "private, independent, confidential advice" in early June. Cline, who received the document, was an NDP MLA alongside Lorje from 1995 to 2003 and served in cabinet with her from 2001 to 2002. He owns a home on 11th Street East in Nutana, where riverbank slumping has been a problem since 2012.
City solicitor Patricia Warwick said the leaked document contains legal advice, is subject to solicitorclient privilege and contains information that could be "injurious" to the city if it’s made public.
Councillors Darren Hill and Tiffany Paulsen told reporters after Monday’s meeting they have heard from numerous constituents calling for Lorje’s resignation and they would step down from their posts were they in her position.
David McGrane, a political science professor at the U of S, said he doesn’t see "any reason" for Lorje to resign. He said he suspects voters with short memories will have forgotten about the leak – which he described as "inside baseball" – by the time the next municipal election rolls around in October 2016.
"As long as this doesn’t reproduce itself, it should really wash away within a short amount of time," he said.
I agree with Charles Smith. I think that anyone that is convicted of a crime who is in public office should resign. There is more than adequate precedent for that and I think it is part of a functioning democracy. If she is not charged or convicted, I also agree with David McGrane that this will not affect her electability. People just donâ€™t tune in enough to care that much at the two year point of a mandate.
Also kudos to McGrane for using the phrase â€œinside baseballâ€ in his interview with Andrea Hill.