Two Episcopal Church Executives Fired for Personal Conduct, Violating Workplace Policies

Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry spoke at the Washington National Cathedral on Nov. 1 during his first Mass as head of the Episcopal Church. (Credit: Jose Luis Magana/Associated Press)
Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry spoke at the Washington National Cathedral on Nov. 1 during his first Mass as head of the Episcopal Church. (Credit: Jose Luis Magana/Associated Press)

Two senior executives of the national Episcopal Church have been dismissed by Presiding Bishop Michael Curry for violating established workplace policies and failing to “live up to the church’s standards of personal conduct in their relationships with employees.” They were among three church leaders who were placed on administrative leave in December, when Curry commissioned an investigation into allegations of personnel policy violations.

Sam McDonald, the church’s deputy chief operating officer and director of mission, and Alex Baumgarten, director of public engagement and mission, have been terminated as a result of the investigation, Curry said Monday (April 4). But the inquiry concluded that Bishop Stacy Sauls, the church’s chief operating officer, did not violate workplace policy and was unaware of the violations of the two staff members reporting to him.

While no further investigation is warranted into Sauls’ actions, Curry said, he will be stripped of his title. “Given the needs for staff leadership in light of my priorities for the direction of the church, Bishop Sauls will not continue as chief operating officer. Conversations are underway to implement this decision,” Curry said.

Curry was elected presiding bishop last summer and took office Nov 1. He placed the three executives on leave Dec. 9, after several members of his staff received complaints. The labor and employment law firm of Curley, Hessinger & Johnsrud was hired to conduct an investigation, interviewing more than 40 people and reviewing thousands of pages of documents.The church offered neither constraints nor influence on the investigation, which is the basis for the personal actions, Curry said.

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SOURCE: NOLA.com
Kim Chatelain

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