Former Progressive Conservative staffer John Sinclair is fighting back after his sudden departure from Queen’s Park as troubles continue to roil Premier Doug Ford’s government.
Breaking his silence, Sinclair said Tuesday he did not leave his job last Friday over the way key Ford aide Andrew Kimber was ousted over sexually inappropriate texts, with pictures of him in a thong attached.
Sinclair’s lawyer issued a statement describing Sinclair as a “long-time loyal Progressive Conservative” who was executive director of the party’s caucus bureau.
“The insinuation that has been in the media about John, that he was in some way deficient in his handling of the recent dismissal of Andrew Kimber, executive director of Issues Management and Legislative Affairs from the Office of the Premier of Ontario, is categorically false,” said Scott Hutchison of Henein Hutchison.
“It is manifestly and provably false. As with all sensitive staffing matters, John Sinclair acted with efficiency and professionalism. Any suggestion to the contrary in the media is wrong, must not stand and will be revealed in time,” added Hutchison.
Hutchison is the lawyer who successfully defended Laura Miller, a former deputy chief of staff to Dalton McGuinty when he was premier, in a criminal trial over deleted documents in the gas plants scandal. Her co-accused, former chief of staff David Livingston, was convicted and sentenced to four months in jail. He is appealing and free on his own recognizance.
As first reported in the Star, Kimber departed the premier’s office Nov. 2 after five women staffers were sent the sexually inappropriate texts. Kimber has since apologized and vowed to get help.
Queen’s Park sources told the Star that Sinclair left because Ford was irate at the way Kimber’s exit was handled as the premier’s office was rocked by allegations against him at the same time as former cabinet minister Jim Wilson was asked to resign after an allegation of sexual misconduct with a male staffer.
Ford’s office has hired an independent investigator to probe the scandals involving Kimber and Wilson.
Rob Ferguson is a Toronto-based reporter covering Ontario politics. Follow him on Twitter: @robferguson1