Politics

Senator Don Meredith hires lawyer amid allegations of relationship with teen

A senator facing published allegations that he had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old girl that ended earlier this year has hired a lawyer.
Senator Don Meredith, who was removed from the Conservative caucus and faces an ethics review after a report of an alleged sexual affair with a young woman, has retained a lawyer. (CBC)

Senator Don Meredith, facing published allegations that he had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old girl that ended earlier this year, has hired a lawyer.

Ottawa law firm Conway Baxter Wilson LLP issued a two sentence statement on Sunday saying Meredith has retained Ottawa lawyer Colin Baxter and that he intends to respect the Senate's internal procedures.

The statement says Baxter has been retained "with respect to proceedings" of the Senate Ethics officer and a Senate committee, but does not provide further details.

Senate Speaker Leo Housakos said last week that he referred the allegations involving Meredith to the ethics officer.

Meredith quit the Conservative caucus last week after the Toronto Star reported that a woman said she had a sexual relationship with him that began shortly after she turned 16.

The woman told the Star that Meredith initially believed her to be 18, but she told him her true age within six weeks of their first meeting.

The Star report said the woman, who is now 18, had sexually explicit online chats with Meredith and that the relationship progressed to kissing and touching before she turned 18.

She said the pair had intercourse twice after she turned 18 before Meredith, 50, broke off the relationship earlier this year.

The Senate is also conducting what it calls a workplace assessment.

Although there is no formal complaint against him, Senate sources have confirmed that the review is looking into allegations against Meredith of verbal abuse, bullying and sexual misconduct in the workplace.

Meredith, who was appointed to represent Ontario in the Senate, is now sitting as an Independent.

A spokesman for the law firm did not immediately return an email requesting further comment.

Parliamentarians react to allegations Senator Don Meredith had a sexual relationship. Meredith left the Conservative caucus Wednesday. 0:31

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