Former Democratic Congressman Harold Ford Jr. was fired from Morgan Stanley for “conduct inconsistent with our values and in violation of our policies,” a spokesperson told CNBC Thursday.
The firing came as the former lawmaker was facing allegations of misconduct, according to a report in The Huffington Post, which was the first outlet to report the firing.
A woman had accused the former lawmaker of harassment and intimidation, according to their report.
Ford denied the accusation and said that he would “be bringing legal action” against the accuser as well as Morgan Stanley.
An attorney for Ford said in a statement that “Morgan Stanley has still not told Harold directly of his termination, and unlike every other circumstance I’ve been in the company has refused to provide me with a reason.”
The Huffington Post reported that Morgan Stanley was conducting an investigation into interactions between Ford and a woman that he had interacted with in a professional setting, but who was not an employee of the bank.
Ford referred to the accuser as a “news reporter.”
The Huffington Post said that in one incident that took place in Manhattan, Ford grabbed the woman. She told The Huffington Post that the incident caused her to seek aid from a building security guard.
“This simply did not happen,” Ford said in a statement. “I have never forcibly grabbed any woman or man in my life.”
The Huffington Post did not identify the accuser but said that it had reviewed emails between her and Ford that confirmed the incident. The website also spoke with two people the woman had told about the incident.
“One woman heard from Ford’s accuser the night of the incident and described her as ‘distraught, shocked, and frightened,’ and said that she was concerned about any career ramifications should she report the incident,” the Huffington Post wrote.
“I support and have tremendous respect for the brave women now speaking out in this important national dialogue,” Ford said. “False claims like this undermine the real silence breakers.”
Ford’s attorney John Singer said the firing “was a matter of convenience during a hyper-sensitive time and not based on real facts.”
In an interview with CNBC, Singer said Ford was notified through counsel that he had been fired.
“There are hundreds and hundreds of investment banking cases that we’ve handled and I can’t recall an instance where the company didn’t directly reach out” or offer a reason for the termination,” he told CNBC.
“The inference to be drawn is that there is no reason, and of course we know that there is no reason,” he said.
Ford was appointed to become a managing director of Morgan Stanley in 2011. The company said at the time that he would be responsible for “building business opportunities for clients” as well as managing relationships with corporate directors, senior executives, institutional investors, and private clients.
Ford was first elected to congress at 26 years old, where he represented Tennessee’s 9th district from 1996 to 2007. In 2006, he made an unsuccessful bid for the Senate, losing to Sen. Bob Corker.
He is a frequent television commentator and has appeared on NBC, MSNBC, and CNBC.
Disclosure: NBCUniversal is the parent company of NBC, MSNBC and CNBC.
Source : CNBC