An investigator hired to dig into sexual harassment allegations against Darshan Kang, an Independent MP from Alberta, has found that the Parliamentarian broke House of Commons rules in relation to his conduct with a former female staff member.
Kang, who resigned from the Liberal caucus after the accusations surfaced in August last year, was found to have improperly physically touched Rhea Bassi, according to CBC News, which obtained a copy of the investigator's report.
Bassi worked for Kang during his time as a member of the Alberta legislature, and in his federal Calgary-Skyview riding office in 2015. She alleged that over a period of four to five years, she was subjected to numerous unwanted hugs, kisses and touching from Kang, that he tricked her into entering his apartment during an Ottawa business trip, and repeatedly tried to enter her hotel afterward.
He tried to remove her jacket during that trip, she alleged, and when she threatened to go public with his conduct, reportedly offered her sums of cash for her silence as high as $100,000.
Not all of those allegations could be verified by the investigator, CBC News reported, due to a lack of evidence. But the investigation determined that it was improper for the MP to have attempted to enter Bassi's Ottawa hotel room, and that he should have known his behaviour was unwelcome.
Kang "was unaware" that his conduct was causing discomfort, said the investigator's report.
Reached by National Observer, an employee at Kang's constituency office in Calgary said that the MP would have no comment on the investigator's findings at this time.
Questioned by journalists while on the road in Barrie, Ont., Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledged the report, but dismissed Kang as "no longer a Liberal MP."
"Darshan Kang is sitting as an Independent, and whether it's this process or others, the Liberal Party has no interactions or responsibility over what his next steps are," he said, in a video posted by Global News on Friday.
Kang was one of only two Liberal MPs in Calgary. The other, former federal cabinet minister Kent Hehr, has also faced allegations of inappropriate conduct toward female staff members. Those allegations — which have not been proven — include calling a female staffer "yummy" in an elevator, and are under investigation.
Hehr resigned from his duties as minister for sport and persons with disabilities pending the investigation's outcome, but retains his seat and responsibilities in Calgary-Centre.