Investigation forces Senate ethics officer to put Meredith review on hold

Senate ethics officer Lyse Ricard says she has suspended her review

Don Meredith/Mitchel Raphael

Don Meredith/Mitchel Raphael

OTTAWA — An ethics investigation into Sen. Don Meredith, a former member of the Conservative caucus, is on hold while other authorities investigate allegations that he had a sexual relationship with a teenager.

Senate ethics officer Lyse Ricard says she has suspended her review of Meredith because she believes it is in the public interest that she not interfere with an ongoing investigation.

Ricard doesn’t say what other “authority” is looking into Meredith, but the clause in the Senate ethics code cited by Ricard only kicks in when police ask the ethics officer to put a review on hold.

Meredith quit the Conservative caucus in June after the Toronto Star reported that Meredith had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old.

The woman told the Toronto Star that Meredith initially believed her to be 18, but she told him her true age within six weeks of the pair’s first meeting at a Black History Month event at a church in Ottawa.

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 the 50-year-old Meredith, a married Pentecostal minister who is a father of two, broke off the relationship earlier this year.

The allegations against Meredith remain unproven, and no formal complaint against Meredith has been filed with the Senate.