Petition 81469

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Complaints (81469-JA-¶2706.5c1)

Amend ¶2706.5c1 as follows:
  
    c) Findings other than reasonable grounds by committee or other actions
(1) If the committee on investigation determines that there are no reasonable grounds for charges, it may dismiss the judicial complaint. Upon dismissal of any complaint, the Committee on Investigation shall immediately review the Church’s process from the time the complaint was made until its resolution. It shall consider evidence presented by the accused, his counsel, and/or his attorney as to whether or not the Book of Disciple was faithfully followed. If the Committee on Investigation determines that a superintendent or bishop did not afford the accused every consideration as set forth in the Book of Discipline, then the superintendent and bishop shall be served with a Notification of Complaint for Malfeasances. The district superintendent and bishop shall be required to defend themselves according to the process of other Chargeable Offenses as set forth in the Book of Discipline.  Furthermore, after the dismissal of a complaint where a clergy person has been suspended waiting the outcome of the Committee on Investigation’s report, that clergyperson shall receive the same salary for his time on suspension as he/she was earning in his/her appointment. Under no circumstances shall the clergyperson suffer retribution by being appointed to a position less that he/she was suspended.  Furthermore, all expenses relating to the suspension shall be reimbursed by the Church. These expenses shall cover the cost of housing, legal fees, mileage reimbursements, fees for copying, postage, and any other expenses deemed as reasonable and proper by the Committee on Investigation.  Furthermore, an oral and written report shall be given at the next Clergy Session of the Annual Conference stating the outcome of the investigation, and a public apology offered to the clergyperson and to the church from which he/she was suspended.
    
When deemed appropriate, it may also refer matters of concern to the proper referring Church official (to the president or secretary of the College of Bishops in the case of bishop, to the resident bishop in the case of a clergyperson or diaconal minister, or to the pastor or co-pastors in the case of layperson) for administrative or other action. Notification of these actions, should be given to the respondent, the person making the original complaint, counsel for the Church and the proper referring Church officials.  

Rationale

Playing “fast and loose” with our book of laws should never be tolerated. When men/women who have taken an oath to uphold the rules of our Church break them, then there are no rules of order! A suspension from ministry is a terrible ordeal from which I am now determined...