Fedeli serves li­bel no­tice

North Bay Nugget - - FRONT PAGE - PJ Wil­son

Nipiss­ing MPP Vic Fedeli is re­main­ing mum on pub­lished re­ports that he has be­gun le­gal ac­tion against former Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive Party Leader Patrick Brown.

“I made a state­ment in Novem­ber and there is noth­ing more I will add,” Fedeli said Wednes­day af­ter CBC re­ported Fedeli’s lawyers have served Brown and Op­ti­mum Pub­lish­ing In­ter­na­tional with a no­tice of in­tent.

A no­tice of in­tent is a re­quired step in li­bel pro­ceed­ings.

In Brown’s book Take­down: The At­tempted Po­lit­i­cal As­sas­si­na­tion of Patrick Brown pub­lished in Novem­ber, Brown said a fe­male staffer left him a note ac­cus­ing Fedeli of “in­ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­iour.”

The no­tice de­mands Brown and the book publisher re­tract the state­ments and apol­o­gize to Fedeli.

“We stand be­hind the book and the truth in the book,” Dean Bax­en­dale, of Op­ti­mum Pub­lish­ing In­ter­na­tional, said.

“We were some­what shocked by the ask . . . what Mr. Fedeli asked for” in de­mand­ing a re­trac­tion.

Bax­en­dale said CBC has ver­i­fied that a com­plaint was made against Fedeli.

Fedeli said in Novem­ber the ac­cu­sa­tions of sex­ual mis­con­duct in the book were “false” and “ma­li­cious” fol­low­ing pub­li­ca­tion of the book by Brown, who in Novem­ber was elected mayor of Bramp­ton.

“I have re­tained le­gal coun­cil . . . and I will take what­ever le­gal ac­tion nec­es­sary,” Fedeli said at the time.

“I stress the ac­cu­sa­tions are false and ma­li­cious.”

Premier Doug Ford and mem­bers of the PC cau­cus have stood firmly be­hind Fedeli since the book was pub­lished, in­clud­ing wear­ing yel­low ties – Fedeli’s trade­mark – in the leg­is­la­ture.

Ford said in Novem­ber “al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual mis­con­duct against the vet­eran leg­is­la­tor ref­er­enced in a book by former Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive leader Patrick Brown are noth­ing but a dis­gust­ing smear cam­paign.”

In a se­ries of tweets, Ford called Fedeli “honourable, eth­i­cal and de­cent,” de­nounc­ing the al­le­ga­tions in Brown’s book as “lies.”

In his book, Brown al­leges Fedeli was ac­cused of “in­ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­iour” by a party staffer in De­cem­ber 2017.

Brown stated he looked into the mat­ter, but the com­plainant asked that it go no fur­ther.

Fedeli

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