Ohio gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald followed up his stop in Marietta with a news conference Friday afternoon to respond to a police report.
It was a police report - not a citation - involving a parked car near an industrial complex in Cleveland.
FitzGerald was with a female member of an Irish delegation the Cuyahoga County official was hosting.
FitzGerald says he and members of that Irish delegation were attending a reception in downtown Cleveland.
He says he was driving a member of that delegation, Joanne Grehan home when his car became separated from the rest of the group and they had stopped to look for directions.
The story broke on a day when FitzGerald had scheduled several appearances to announce his endorsement by Ohio's Fraternal Order of Police.
Those appearances were cancelled after news media reports of the incident, which cited police records.
FitzGerald referred to those same records in calling the incident "innocent".
"There were three people who were really in a position to observe what was actually happening. One was the officer, one was myself and one was the passenger. All three said the exact same thing, that there was nothing inappropriate that was going on," says FitzGerald.
Grehan and another delegate call the controversy politically motivated and say there's no basis for unfounded speculation and innuendo.
FitzGerald at his news conference Friday afternoon went as far as to say the incident was an effort by the campaign of Governor John Kasich to divert attention from FitzGerald's endorsement.
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