The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests announced Tuesday that its longtime national director, accused by a former SNAP employee of referring potential clients to attorneys in return for financial kickbacks to the group, resigned at the end of last year.
The announcement that David Clohessy, of St. Louis, left the Chicago-based organization comes a week after he and other leaders were named in a lawsuit filed by a former employee who said she was fired shortly after asking superiors whether SNAP was referring victims to attorneys in exchange for donations to the organization.
In addition to Clohessy, defendants named in the lawsuit are the organization itself, Barbara Blaine, its founder and president, and Barbara Dorris, outreach director.
In an interview Tuesday, Clohessy said he remains on the organization’s board of directors for the time being. But his resignation, which he said he told SNAP’s board about in October, is the best choice for him and the organization.
“It’s healthy for nonprofits to get fresh blood and new perspectives,” said Clohessy, who said he was stunned by the lawsuit and its allegations.
According to the suit filed in Cook County Circuit Court, Gretchen Rachel Hammond worked as a director of development from July 2011 until she said she was fired in February 2013. She grew suspicious when she was not permitted to participate in an internal audit of SNAP by an accounting firm and was barred from attending programs to help generate material for grant proposals, the suit said.
She also was given access to a list of lawyers who regularly donated to SNAP but was told to never tell anyone that lawyers donate to the organization, according to the lawsuit. It was when Clohessy accidentally copied her on an email to an attorney, asking when SNAP could expect the next donation, that Hammond began to ask questions and the workplace climate dramatically changed, she alleged in the lawsuit.
Full story at The Chicago Tribune.