Chicago, Ill., Feb 6, 2017 / 17:45 pm
Another leader of a controversial group representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse has resigned, denying that the resignation is related to a lawsuit that claimed the group was engaged in kickbacks and other unethical behavior.
Barbara Blaine of the Survivors’ Network of those Abuse by Priests resigned effective Feb. 3, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Blaine said a lawsuit filed last month against the Chicago-based organization had no bearing on her resignation and compared it to previous lawsuits she said had no merit. She said the discussions of her departure had been ongoing and it had been a great honor to serve the organization.
“Change however is inevitable,” she said.
In mid-January former employee Gretchen Rachel Hammond, who worked as a development director at SNAP, claimed to have been wrongly fired for raising objections to what she said was a kickback scheme. The former employee’s lawsuit alleged that the organization refers them to lawyers who themselves donate to the organization. It also charged that SNAP does not provide significant counseling help to abuse victims.
The suit further charged that SNAP is motivated by its leaders' “personal and ideological animus against the Catholic Church.”
Blaine flatly denied the lawsuit’s claims, saying: “The allegations are not true. This will be proven in court. SNAP leaders are now, and always have been, devoted to following the SNAP mission: to help victims heal and to prevent further sexual abuse.”
The lawsuit named as defendants SNAP, Blaine, past executive director David Clohessy, and outreach director Barbara Dorris.