A former Democratic Tennessee congressman from a prominent political family has been fired from his Morgan Stanley job over allegations of misconduct.
Harold Ford Jr., who served in the House for nearly 10 years, was fired Thursday after a human resources investigation at the investment bank on claims of “harassment, intimidation, and forcibly” grabbing a woman some years ago, according to Huffington Post.
“He has been terminated for conduct inconsistent with our values and in violation of our policies,” a Morgan Stanley spokeswoman told HuffPost.
The woman accusing Ford was “not a Morgan Stanley employee but interacted with Ford in a professional capacity,” according to the report.
According to HuffPost:
In two interviews with HuffPost, the woman alleged that Ford engaged in harassment, intimidation, and forcibly grabbed her one evening in Manhattan, leading her to seek aid from a building security guard. The incident took place several years ago when Ford and the woman were supposed to be meeting for professional reasons. Ford continued to contact her after the encounter until she wrote an email asking him to cease contact.
The email, which was reviewed by HuffPost, shows that the woman emailed Ford after he repeatedly asked her to drinks. She asked him not to contact her anymore, citing his inappropriate conduct the evening where he forcibly grabbed and harassed her.
“Hey very sorry. Meant no harm,” Ford had responded to the email. “And I apologize for whatever I may have said or what was said. And my overtures are strictly professional. Again I apologize didn’t mean to be inappropriate at all. Sorry that impression was left.”
The unidentified woman told another woman about the incident that night and, according to HuffPost, was described “as ‘distraught, shocked, and frightened,’ and said that she was concerned about any career ramifications should she report the incident.”
Ford, a paid on-air political analyst for NBC/MSNBC and a regular on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” has been a managing director at Morgan Stanley since 2011, having left Congress in 2007.
The 47-year-old won the seat vacated by his father, Harold Ford Sr., who served 22 years in the House of Representatives before retiring. Ford was defeated by Republican Sen. Bob Corker by fewer than three points in a failed bid for a Senate seat in 2006.
He has denied the allegations and is prepared to fight back, planning to sue the accuser and his former employer.
“This simply did not happen. I have never forcibly grabbed any woman or man in my life,” he said in a statement to HuffPost. “Having drinks and dinner for work is part of my job, and all of my outreach to the news reporter making these false allegations was professional and at the direction of my firm for business purposes.”
Ford added: “I support and have tremendous respect for the brave women now speaking out in this important national dialogue. False claims like this undermine the real silence breakers.”
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