In his new book, ‘Take Down: The Attempted Political Assassination of Patrick Brown,’ former Ontario Progressive Conservative leader and current Brampton mayor-elect Patrick Brown says finance minister Vic Fedeli “dodged a bullet” in regards to allegations of sexual misconduct against him.
Global News confirmed Fedeli was the subject of an investigation related to allegations made by a former female Queen’s Park staffer.
In 2017, a letter was leaked to news organizations and posted on social media after Brown was forced to resign over his own allegations of sexual misconduct.
The letter’s recipient is redacted but it appears to be written by Ontario lawyer Judith Wilcox.
It reads in part: “As discussed, I have a client that is prepared to make a public statement in respect of conduct amounting to workplace sexual harassment and misconduct by Vic Fedeli.”
Also leaked with the letter was a draft press release allegedly from Wilcox’s firm dated January 30, 2018.
It reads in part: “The incidents of sexual harassment and misconduct occurred numerous times over the past 12 months at the female’s workplace, Queen’s Park.”
Regarding the specific allegations the press release stated, “Vic Fedeli would greet me and then proceed to kiss and hug me. Upon releasing me from the embrace he would glide his hands up against the side of my breasts.”
After Brown’s resignation Fedeli said, “I believe the women…I will not sign Patrick Brown’s nomination papers.”
Brown references that statement in his book writing, “He believed the women? I was surprised at Fedeli’s cavalier, holier-than-thou attitude, given that he knew full well that he may have dodged a bullet himself.”
“A little-known fact is that in December 2017, I received a hand-written note from an individual who worked for the party. In that note she accused Fedeli of inappropriate behavior. The letter had been left on my Queen’s Park office desk. While, frankly, the accusations were not anything I could picture being consistent with Fedeli’s character, my personal assessment of him was obviously irrelevant and not enough to disregard the allegations,” Brown continued.
Brown wrote that he informed Fedeli that he intended to look into the allegations and also told him not to have contact with the accuser.
Brown said he met with the woman who was “adamant that she didn’t want any action or investigation done, period. She wanted to go no further.”
Sources said the woman refused to participate in the investigation into Fedeli once it was launched.
The findings of that investigation have never been made public. Global News has also been told by sources the woman signed a non-disclosure agreement and received a financial settlement in relation to her departure.
In his book Brown wrote, “The woman was let go, but kept on the Legislative payroll.”
Global News could not verify Brown’s claim.
Responding to a request for comment on the story, Fedeli told Global News in a statement, “Throughout my career I have held myself to a high ethical standard in my interactions with others. There is no validity whatsoever to any of these allegations. Any accusation or insinuation to the contrary is false and malicious. I have retained legal counsel and am prepared to take whatever action is necessary to hold any person making these false allegations accountable.”
After publication of the story on Wednesday, Fedeli added: “These accusations from Patrick Brown are categorically false and without any merit. Facts relating to Mr. Brown’s lack of credibility are well documented and on the public record, as are his motivations in using his book to pursue old grievances.”
The allegations against Vic Fedeli have not been proven.
NDP Deputy Leader Sara Singh issued a statement in response to the allegations against Fedeli:
“If a woman has made sexual misconduct allegations against Vic Fedeli, I assume that Doug Ford will be immediately ordering a fully independent investigation, and be removing Mr. Fedeli from cabinet while that investigation takes place. If there is any truth to allegations that the Conservative government is protecting Mr. Fedeli by buying the silence of his victim, Ford needs to come clean with the people of Ontario. Obviously, protecting a powerful man who has committed any sort of misconduct is wrong.”
Brown’s book is scheduled to be released on Thursday.
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