Bruno hearing date set

A disciplinary hearing for Los Angeles Episcopal Bishop Jon Bruno has been set for March 28-30 in Pasadena.

A disciplinary hearing for Los Angeles Episcopal Bishop Jon Bruno has been set for March 28-30 in Pasadena. The hearing is open to the public.

The hearing before a panel appointed by the national Episcopal Church, on charges of church law violations and conduct unbecoming a bishop, will be held at the Courtyard by Marriott–Old Pasadena at 180 N. Fair Oaks Ave. and will begin at 9 a.m. each morning.

The charges stem from misconduct in Bruno’s attempted sale of St. James the Great Episcopal Church in Newport Beach.

Bruno locked the congregation out of the church in June 2015, after the congregation questioned his surprise agreement to sell the church to a condominium developer. The sale was terminated in escrow the next month, but Bruno has refused to allow the congregation to return to the building and grounds.

The charges against Bruno include entering the sale agreement without the proper authorization and making false statements to the congregation and to Newport Beach city officials about his intentions for the property. The charges also allege that locking the congregation out was “conduct unbecoming” for a bishop.

The case against Bruno is being prosecuted by Jerry Coughlan, a former federal prosecutor appointed as Church Attorney by the Episcopal Church.

The Hearing Panel of three bishops, a priest and a lay representative in October rejected Bruno’s motion to dismiss the charges. The panel has also turned down requests from Bruno that the hearing be delayed.

The Hearing Panel is the third step in the revised disciplinary procedures of the Episcopal Church, which went into effect in 2011. Bruno is the first bishop to go before a Hearing Panel under the new procedures.

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