Suspended MP Massimo Pacetti won't seek re-election
Published Wednesday, March 18, 2015 9:21AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, March 18, 2015 1:37PM EDT
Massimo Pacetti, who was suspended from the Liberal caucus following allegations of personal misconduct, will not seek re-election later this year, the embattled MP announced in a statement Wednesday.
Pacetti and Scott Andrews were suspended from the Liberal caucus last November after two female NDP MPs made allegations against them.
CTV News reported Tuesday that in the wake of an investigation by prominent human rights lawyer Cynthia Petersen, which now includes complaints from other women, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau will not allow either man to return to the Liberal caucus.
In an email to CTV News, Pacetti said Wednesday he maintains his innocence.
“In the past months, I have been forced to deal with questions that involve my private life that have interfered with my ability to represent my constituents as effectively as possible,” Pacetti said.
In his statement, he said “seeking re-election in 2015 would not be in the interests of my family or my constituents.”
He will, however, serve out his term as MP for Saint-Leonard – Saint-Michel.
Earlier Wednesday, Andrews says he was “astounded” at reports that he will not be allowed back into the Liberal caucus.
In a statement issued Wednesday morning, Andrews said he was assured that he would receive a copy of the “executive summary” before it was discussed publicly.
“I have been waiting since last Friday and I am still not privy to Cynthia Petersen’s report,” Andrews said in his statement. “I have had no communication with Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau, or the Liberal Party of Canada, regarding the report.”
Both men co-operated and denied all the allegations of improper behaviour. In his statement, Andrews said he wants to review the report and discuss its contents with his lawyers before making further public comment.
Andrews will issue a “formal reaction” and address the report with the media in the coming days, according to the statement.
The two NDP MPs who made the accusations against Andrews and Pacetti have chosen to remain unnamed.
One of the women, however, has detailed an alleged incident at a downtown Ottawa hotel room, where she said Pacetti asked her to join him for a drink last March. She said she intended to finish her drink and leave, but wasn’t able to. The woman described what happened as “sex without explicit consent,” but didn’t elaborate on what exactly that allegation meant.
Another NDP MP told Liberal Party whip Judy Foote that Andrews allegedly forced himself on her, then verbally harassed her for a period of time. Sources say she refused to co-operate with the investigation.
Petersen’s report, now in the hands of a small group of Liberals, according to sources, does not paint a flattering picture of Pacetti and Andrews’ behaviour, both on and off Parliament Hill, Fife reported Tuesday.
None of the allegations have been proven in court and no charges have been laid.
Andrews is expected to challenge Petersen’s findings and run again as an independent in his Newfoundland riding of Avalon, sources say.