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VOL. 133 | NO. 16 | Monday, January 22, 2018

Morgan Stanley Denies Ford Fired for Sexual Misconduct

By Bill Dries

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HAROLD FORD JR. 

Morgan Stanley executives denied Monday, Jan. 22, that the financial giant fired former U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Jr. for sexual misconduct.

The company also denied that it received any “internal allegations of sexual harassment or misconduct involving him either before or after his separation became public.”

“As previously stated, his separation was based on corporate policy,” the statement read.

The New York Times reported Monday that the statement by the Wall Street firm is part of an out of court settlement reached between Morgan Stanley and Ford over the weekend. The Times based its report on anonymous sources. It's not known what other terms may be part of the settlement.

The Huffington Post reported in December that Ford, the U.S. representative for Memphis from 1997 to 2007, had been fired after a Morgan Stanley investigation into an allegation that he harassed, intimidated and forcibly grabbed a woman during a meeting over dinner in New York City.

The story quoted Morgan Stanley as saying Ford was fired “for conduct inconsistent with our values and in violation of our policies.”

But the company said Monday the reason was not sexual misconduct.

“The press has reported that Mr. Ford was terminated for sexual misconduct. He was not,” the statement read.

The New York Times reported earlier this month that the company did investigate the allegation and concluded it was his word against his accuser and that there was not enough proof of sexual abuse or misconduct. But the Times reported the company decided to fire Ford anyway for other issues, including the use of his company expense account as well as the recent departure of a Morgan Stanley executive whom Ford was allied with.

The story also indicated that Ford had hired attorneys who were marshalling a defense to his termination and the sexual harassment allegation.

Ford reacted to the New York Times report by claiming vindication.

“I am gratified to learn that Morgan Stanley now acknowledges what I always knew, that I did not engage in any acts of sexual misconduct or harassment,” he said earlier this month, first by email and later on Twitter. “I only wish for the sake of my good name and reputation that they had admitted the truth five weeks ago.”

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