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Douglas LeBlanc's avatar
Church Attorney Recuses Herself

Friday, October 14, 2011 at 3:56 pm
Bishop Dorsey Henderson writes: “Ms. [Josephine] Hicks has withdrawn ... because unanticipated circumstances have created the possibility of a conflict arising regarding fiduciary responsibilities for members of her law firm as matters develop.”
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A message released to The Living Church Oct. 14 by Bishop Dorsey Henderson

Sisters and Brothers, today I have accepted the withdrawal of Ms. Josephine Hicks from further participation in the matter before us regarding Bishop Mark Lawrence.

Ms. Hicks has withdrawn from all involvement in the Board’s investigation and/or consideration of the Bishop Lawrence matter because unanticipated circumstances have created the possibility of a conflict arising regarding fiduciary responsibilities for members of her law firm as matters develop. For reasons of professional responsibility, she is not at liberty to disclose any details concerning that possibility.

You know as well as I that she has never been a member of the Disciplinary Board. We retained her to serve as the Board’s attorney as one of the decisions we made during our organizational meetings, conducted by conference call. However, the roster of the Board’s membership on the General Convention web site includes her name — obviously a clerical error. (I have requested that this error be corrected, and Canon Straub, Secretary of the General Convention, has assured me that this has been done.) Any apprehension, implication or suggestion that Ms. Hicks’ work would not be impartial is unfounded, just as the claim that she served as a member of the Board is unfounded.

I retain full confidence in Ms. Hicks, not only in her objectivity in her work, but in her proven professional ability, typical for lawyers, to represent their clients rather than their own personal interests.

I will contact you promptly regarding efforts to retain another attorney to assist us in the Bishop Lawrence matter. Ms. Hicks will continue to assist us in other matters which are, or may be in the future, before us.

With continuing prayers for God’s guidance for us all, for the mission, faith and unity of the Church, I remain

Faithfully yours in our Lord,

+Dorsey Henderson
President of the Disciplinary Board for Bishops
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