Fedeli threatens to sue Patrick Brown, publisher over misconduct allegation
Chris Herhalt, CP24.com
Published Wednesday, January 9, 2019 3:57PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 9, 2019 4:51PM EST
Finance Minister Vic Fedeli has served a notice of intent to sue Patrick Brown and the publisher of his book for libel over a passage that described a sexual misconduct allegation against him.
Brown says in his book, Takedown: The Attempted Political Assassination of Patrick Brown, that Fedeli was accused of sexual misconduct by a party staffer in Dec. 2017.
Premier Doug Ford has dismissed the allegation as a malicious smear. A third-party review requested by Ford found nothing to substantiate the claim.
Fedeli said in November he has "held himself to a high ethical standard" throughout his career and indicated then his intention to take legal action against Brown.
“I did receive a lawyers letter requesting, my publisher remove the reference in “Take Down” which mentions a sexual misconduct complaint was made against Vic Fedeli which is perplexing as the CBC has already independently verified that a complaint was indeed made,” Brown told CP24 on Wednesday.
The allegation against Fedeli has not been tested in a court.
Brown’s publisher, Dean Baxendale, told CP24 that Fedeli has asked that the passage in the book concerning the sexual misconduct allegation made against him be removed.
“As a publisher we will not be doing that,” Baxendale added. “We’re quite surprised.”
“We’re simply stating facts, we’re telling a story, and I don’t think we’re at a point where we should retract anything,” he said.
Brown, who was elected as mayor of Brampton in October, was himself the subject of sexual misconduct allegations dating back to his time as a Conservative MP for Barrie.
He resigned as leader of the Ontario PC Party in Jan. 2018 after CTV News published details of the misconduct allegations.
Brown then sued CTV News for $8 million.
That case continues to make its way through the courts.