Ten years after leaving Congress, Harold Ford Jr could be the canary in the coal-mine for Wall Street as the global awakening to sexual abuse strikes a bulge-bracket bank.
Harold Ford Jr. “has been terminated for conduct inconsistent with our values and in violation of our policies,” Morgan Stanley spokeswoman Michele Davis said in a statement to Bloomberg News.
Huffington Post reports that the bank’s human resources department investigated claims he harassed a woman he met in a professional capacity.
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. Ford replied to the email by apologizing and agreeing not to contact her.
HuffPost is not identifying the woman at her request but has reviewed emails that confirm her interactions with Ford and spoke to two people whom the woman confided in 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.
Perhaps Ford learend all this from his years in Washington where he served for 10 years?
Since leaving Congress in 2007, Ford has worked for two financial services companies, first for Merrill Lynch and then Morgan Stanley, which he joined in 2011 as a managing director.
And so it begins perhaps... with every MD now in full panic mode at what they may have or have not done over the last few decades.