Bishop J. Jon Bruno of Los Angeles has appealed the findings of the hearing panel that recommended he be suspended from Episcopal ministry for three years, on charges related to the attempted sale of church property formerly used by St. James the Great in Newport Beach.
According to Canon IV:17.8, the review will be heard by nine bishops on the Court of Review for Bishops.
Bruno asked that all charges and restrictions against him be dropped, arguing that the hearing panel exceeded its authority under the canons; interpreted the canons incorrectly; committed procedural errors; relied on irrelevant evidence; and reached factual determinations not sufficiently supported by the evidence.
Bruno’s three-page notice of appeal contains statements that do not appear to reflect the Hearing Panel’s order. Most notably, the appeal says, “The Hearing Panel found for the Respondent [Bruno] on the second charge, from which the Respondent does not appeal.”
That statement appears to refer to a single sentence in the panel’s 91-page final order, which says “the Hearing Panel finds that the foregoing are misrepresentations, but not dishonesty, fraud or deceit, within the meaning of Canon IV:4.1(h)(6).”
However, misrepresentation is a violation of the plain language of the canon, even if it does not rise to the level of dishonesty, fraud, or deceit.
The appeal states that “On August 2, 2017, the Hearing Panel found that the Respondent violated a charge not filed against or defended by him IIc.2 (consulting with the Standing Committee about the sale of property).” But Bruno was in fact charged with failing to consult the standing committee about the sale of the church.