06/23/2017 05:03 EDT | Updated 06/23/2017 07:02 EDT

Don Meredith harassment inquiry continues despite his resignation

OTTAWA — The Senate ethics watchdog has resumed an investigation into workplace harassment and bullying allegations against Don Meredith.

The fact that Meredith is no longer a senator would usually put an end to such an inquiry, but the Senate ethics committee decided it wants to press ahead with the probe that began nearly two years ago.

The office of Senate ethics officer Lyse Ricard, who is leaving her position June 30 for family reasons, sent an email Thursday confirming that work picked up again on Wednesday

"The committee believes that allegations of sexual harassment, harassment and abuse of authority in the workplace should be fully investigated for the fairness of the employees involved and former senator Meredith," the committee wrote in a report tabled late Wednesday.

"This forms part of the Senate's responsibility as an institution and as an employer," the report said, adding that completing the process would also help maintain and boost public confidence and trust in its integrity.

"The committee believes that the completion of the inquiry by the Senate ethics officer is the most effective process to address the allegations raised by the complaint and have a determination in their regard."

The report said the committee knows that the Senate can no longer impose sanctions on Meredith, but the investigation might help in dealing with these kinds of issues in the future.

"The Senate ethics officer's recommendations arising from this matter would also be relevant to all Senate authorities in the consideration of best practices respecting workplace harassment," it said.

The same committee chose to abandon an inquiry into Meredith having brought his wife along on a delegation, because the issues it raised are no longer relevant, now that he has gone.

Meredith resigned his seat last month, the day before the Senate could have voted to expel him over his sexual relationship with a teenage girl.