Church’s former chief operating officer files suit over his severance package
Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry and President of the House of Deputies the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings released the following statement to the staff of the Episcopal Church Center on 8 February 2017.
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:
Earlier this week, we informed Executive Council that Bishop Stacy Sauls has filed a lawsuit against the corporation of the Episcopal Church, called the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society (DFMS), and an unspecified number of unnamed defendants associated with the church. The suit concerns Bishop Sauls’ tenure as chief operating officer of the DFMS and his departure from that job.
As you may remember, Bishop Sauls served as chief operating officer from 2011 until December 2015, when he was placed on administrative leave. Bishop Sauls’ employment with the church ended in April 2016.
The Presiding Bishop, in consultation with legal counsel, tried his best to negotiate a severance with Bishop Sauls. We believe he made a good faith and compassionate offer, but that offer was not accepted. The Presiding Bishop, as a steward of church resources, felt that he could not go beyond that offer and explain it in good conscience to the church.
As officers of the church, we are not going to comment directly on pending litigation that involves the church. We have complete confidence in one another and in the staff, officers, and leaders of the Episcopal Church. We are united in our desire to resolve this suit as quickly and compassionately as possible, and we are committed to working together to create a church culture that follows the loving, liberating and life-giving way of Jesus.
The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Rev. Gay Clark Jennings
President, House of Deputies