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Senator's alleged relationship with teen back under ethics office review

Last Updated Feb 5, 2016 at 2:00 pm EST

OTTAWA – The Senate’s ethics officer has resumed an investigation into allegations that Sen. Don Meredith had a sexual relationship with a teenager.

Lyse Ricard suspended her probe in October so as not to interfere with a police investigation.

But her office says she’s now resumed her investigation after being advised that the Ottawa police are no longer pursuing the matter.

Ricard was asked to look into Meredith’s conduct last June by Leo Housakos, then Speaker of the Senate, who believed the alleged relationship with a teen, if true, would constitute “conduct unbecoming of a senator” and would require disciplinary sanctions.

She is also conducting a second investigation into allegations of workplace harassment against Meredith.

That investigation was prompted by a workplace assessment by an outside investigator who, according to Senate sources, reported complaints from six former staffers about Meredith’s allegedly rude and unprofessional behaviour.

Meredith, 51, a married Pentecostal minister, quit the Conservative caucus last June after an 18-year-old woman told the Toronto Star she’d had an intimate relationship with the senator that began when she was 16.

The woman alleged that the relationship involved kissing, touching and sexually explicit online chats until she turned 18, after which they had intercourse twice before Meredith broke off the relationship.

Ricard’s office issued a statement Friday confirming the resumption of the ethics officer’s investigation into the matter.

“The Senate ethics officer has resumed her review of the allegations published in the Toronto Star regarding the alleged relationship Sen. Meredith had with a young woman, since she was recently advised that the Ottawa police has ceased its own investigation into this matter,” the statement said.