Ford’s ex-aide apol­o­gizes for send­ing ‘unac­cept­able’ texts

The Expositor (Brantford) - - ONTARIO NEWS -

TORONTO — A se­nior staffer in On­tario Premier Doug Ford’s of­fice who was forced to re­sign last week is apol­o­giz­ing for what he calls his “unac­cept­able” be­hav­iour af­ter al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual mis­con­duct were lev­elled against him.

An­drew Kim­ber, who was ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of is­sues man­age­ment for Ford, is­sued a state­ment on Twit­ter late Thurs­day af­ter­noon say­ing he is tak­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity for his ac­tions and will seek un­spec­i­fied treat­ment.

While Kim­ber’s state­ment does not de­tail his be­hav­iour, a pub­lished re­port says he al­legedly sent sex­u­ally in­ap­pro­pri­ate text mes­sages to at least five fe­male Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive staffers with pho­tos at­tached.

The re­port says the text mes­sages were al­legedly first re­ported by one staffer, af­ter which four ad­di­tional women came for­ward.

Kim­ber, who did not re­spond to re­quests for com­ment, apol­o­gized to those af­fected by his ac­tions.

“Ev­ery­one has a right to live and work free from ha­rass­ment, and I’m sorry for those who I have hurt,” Kim­ber said in his mes­sage. “I am also sorry to my friends and col­leagues in the Ford gov­ern­ment and the dis­ser­vice I brought to the of­fice.”

Ford’s of­fice did not com­ment on the re­ported de­tails of the al­le­ga­tions against Kim­ber.

Kim­ber’s res­ig­na­tion last Fri­day came on the same day Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Min­is­ter Jim Wil­son was forced out of Ford’s cab­i­net and the Tory cau­cus.

Ini­tially, the Tory gov­ern­ment would only say that Kim­ber re­signed from his post in the premier’s of­fice and that Wil­son was re­sign­ing to deal with “ad­dic­tion is­sues.”

Days later Ford con­firmed both men were fac­ing al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual mis­con­duct.

Speak­ing at an event in eastern On­tario on Wed­nes­day, the premier said that his of­fice had ini­tially re­fused to con­firm pub­lished re­ports about al­le­ga­tions against Kim­ber and Wil­son in or­der to pro­tect the iden­tity of the com­plainants.

Ford said Kim­ber was re­moved from his post “im­me­di­ately” af­ter the premier’s of­fice learned of mis­con­duct al­le­ga­tions against the staffer.

“He lasted about a minute when we found out,” Ford said ear­lier this week when he ad­dressed how his gov­ern­ment han­dled the sit­u­a­tion.

Op­po­si­tion leg­is­la­tors have been crit­i­cal of the Ford gov­ern­ment’s han­dling of the mat­ter, with NDP deputy leader Sara Singh say­ing the Tories ini­tially tried to “cover up” the al­le­ga­tions.

Ev­ery­one has a right to live and work free from ha­rass­ment, and I’m sorry for those who I have hurt.” An­drew Kim­ber

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