MONTREAL -- The chairperson -- and founder -- of Montreal Pride has been suspended after a "disclosure of sexual misconduct involving him," the organization says.

Eric Pineault's suspension is indefinite and will allow the rest of the board to examine the allegations against him over the coming weeks, they said in a statement Friday.

An independent external investigator has been hired to look into the accusations and will report back to the board with his or her findings, they said.

A spokesperson for Pride Montreal, Elena Gabrysz, wouldn't say when exactly the allegations came to light, saying only that they were acted on immediately.

"As soon as the board was notified, they started the process of an independent external investigation," she said in an email.

This year's Pride Festival in Montreal, already an unusual, largely virtual one due to the pandemic, is scheduled to start Monday.

While Pineault is suspended, two other board members will take over the organization's top leadership: engineer Marie-Eve Baron, the vice-chairperson, will act as interim chairperson, while Jean-Francois Perrier will act as interim general manager.

Montreal Pride has been running the city's Pride festivities for 13 years. Though Pride parades and festivals have happened every year in Montreal since 1979, they were officially taken over by the current organization in 2007, according to a history published by Tourisme Montreal.