The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Lawsuit alleges misconduct in Southern Ohio Synod

Two former employees of the Southern Ohio Synod filed a lawsuit alleging wrongful termination, financial improprieties and other misconduct against the synod and its bishop, Callon Holloway. Margaret Messick, former assistant to the bishop, and Anita Gardner, a former receptionist, both complained of a "hostile" work environment and mishandling of church funds.

Messick submitted a letter of resignation June 7, asking that her retirement be accepted as of July 14. Messick said she resigned because of a "hostile and unresponsive work environment."

On June 11, Gardner was fired along with Don Rice, an ELCA pastor who was the communication director, and Terri Cooper, who was the bishop's administrative assistant. Rice and Cooper haven't filed suit.

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