TVO Network Host Steve Paikin Cleared of Sexual Harassment Claim

Courtesy of TVO

An independent probe concluded "available evidence" did not support an allegation from former Toronto mayoral candidate Sarah Thomson.

Canadian broadcaster TVOntario has said an independent investigation has cleared Steve Paikin, host of its flagship talk show, of a sexual harassment allegation brought against him.

TVO CEO Lisa de Wilde in a statement Friday said a third-party investigator found the sexual harassment claim was "not substantiated," and Paikin did not violate internal policies at the broadcaster. Paikin faced an allegation made in February via an online post by former Toronto mayoral candidate Sarah Thomson.

In it, Thomson alleges Paikin, who anchors The Agenda, a nightly series on North America's largest educational broadcaster, propositioned her during a 2010 lunch. "The investigator finds that Thomson's allegations ... regarding the Grano lunch, Thomson being denied access as a guest on The Agenda after 2010 and the 2012 advance cannot be substantiated," states the independent report by Rachel Turnpenny, an investigator with Turnpenny Milne LLP. 

Paikin was not removed from his anchor job at TVO while the probe was conducted. In a Twitter post Friday, Paikin said "while the last 11 weeks have been pretty difficult, I'm relieved to read this report. My deepest thanks to all who believed me."