Fedeli serves libel notice
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.