FROM: Bishop Bernard J. Harrington
DATE: September 22, 1997
RE: Sexual Harassment Case/Fr. Lou Grandpre/St. Paul of Tarsus
I met Lou Grandpre at the East Macomb Vicariate Meeting today and he was quite “down”. He has informed me that things have gone very poorly in the sexual harassment case. He has reported that we have lost the mediation process from last August with the recommended settlement of about $160,000.00.
Lou feels that our case was not well presented for the mediators. For example: the petitioner had a detailed psychiatric report on the devastation of this whole thing to the victim and no psychiatric evaluation was done by our side. That the documentation done by the opposition was twice the amount of documentation that was presented by our side and thirdly the opposition present three lawyers (one a woman) to the hearing, while our group was only presented by John Cassen. Even Karen Piper, who had been working on the case, did not show up at the hearing.
Lou feels that he and his staff are totally devastated. That it would be advantageous to settle it as quickly out of court as possible. He feels that if the case goes to court the settlement might even be higher. As well as the public scandal that would be involved.
My concerns are:
1) Is the Cardinal aware of the present situation of the court case?
2) Who is the Diocesan contact person involved in this case? I have not received any documentation on this case since the day it was turned over Karen Piper. I don’t know who is receiving documentation from the Diocesan lawyers.
3) Should there be an evaluation whether this case should be settled quickly and how this can take place and who are the persons that are to be involved in that decision?
I think that maybe we should talk about this so that we can be proactive on this case rather than just finding ourselves at the end of a settlement. Please advise.