From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
JUDICIAL COMMISSION ORDERS REINSTATEMENT
05 May 1996 08:07:02
95069 JUDICIAL COMMISSION ORDERS REINSTATEMENT
OF EXECUTIVE PRESBYTER
by Jerry L. Van Marter
LOUISVILLE, Ky.--A year and a half after San Diego Presbytery tried to fire
him, the Rev. Neil W. Brown was ordered reinstated as executive presbyter
by the General Assembly's Permanent Judicial Commission (PJC) Feb. 27.
The PJC ruled that the presbytery "failed to follow procedures
demanded by the Book of Order'" when it ousted Brown in July 1993.
The presbytery, faced with a financial crisis, voted to "institute
termination procedures" against Brown, citing "a significant loss of
confidence and faith in his ability to unify and lead the presbytery."
The "Book of Order" (G-9.0705) calls for a "statement of findings" --
that is, the reasons for a recommended action -- in such a situation.
"In this case," the PJC stated, "the reasons for termination implied
However, the presbytery committee that brought the termination
recommendation did not call any witnesses or produce any evidence that
Brown was in any way responsible for the presbytery's financial crisis.
Therefore, the PJC ruled, the investigative committee did not "provide
[Brown] with sufficient notice of the misconduct suggested" by its
recommendation to fire him.
It ordered that Brown be allowed to resume his duties as executive
presbyter immediately and be given back pay to July 15, 1993.
It also ordered the stated clerk of San Diego Presbytery to report the
decision to the presbytery's next meeting and the stated clerk of the Synod
of Southern California and Hawaii to report the decision to the next
meeting of the synod.
Additionally, the PJC criticized the synod's Permanent Judicial
Commission for "willfully refusing to meet and hear this case."
# # #
For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
phone 502-569-5504 fax 502-569-8073
E-mail PCUSA.NEWS@pcusa.org Web page: http://www.pcusa.org
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