Executive Council Gathers

By G. Jeffrey MacDonald

Members of Executive Council began their winter meeting with worship today, but more somber notes were to follow soon. Before the morning was out, they would hear an update on the investigation of misconduct allegations involving three senior staff members.

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry announced in December that he was putting three on administrative leave: the Rt. Rev. Stacy Sauls, chief operating officer; Samuel McDonald, deputy COO; and Alex Baumgarten, director of public engagement.

Friday marks the first time Executive Council has met since the investigation began in December. The council’s 40 members will hear a status report in an executive session that will be closed to the press, according to Neva Rae Fox, the church’s officer for public affairs.

“A board has things it needs to talk about,” Fox said in explaining the council’s agenda.

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry said in December that two partners from the Philadelphia law firm of Curley, Hessinger & Johnsrud would lead the investigation. This week, Bishop Curry said the investigation would be completed within three to four weeks. The nature of the alleged misconduct has not been disclosed.

“Once the course of action is clear and it has been properly shared with those on administrative leave, I will share with you with as much transparency as is appropriate, protecting confidentiality, and the ways we will move forward from that point,” Curry said in his Feb. 24 statement.

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