Anti-Abuse Monitor Quits, Saying School Drove Him Out

St. Paul's, which is under government oversight, denies the allegations
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 19, 2020 6:25 PM CDT
Abuse Settlement Monitor Says School Worked Against Him
St. Paul's School in Concord, N.H., is under government oversight.   (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File)

A monitor appointed to oversee the handling of sexual abuse claims at St. Paul's School in New Hampshire has resigned, accusing campus officials of thwarting his efforts. Jeffrey Maher was appointed as the school’s independent compliance overseer last year as part of an agreement with the attorney general’s office that subjected the school in Concord to up to five years of government oversight in lieu of criminal charges. The 2018 agreement followed an investigation that found credible evidence of abuse involving 20 former faculty members over several decades. Maher, a former college safety director and police captain, resigned Monday, citing what he called "an intolerable working environment." He said school leadership questioned many conditions of the agreement, discouraged investigations that could have legal impacts, and tried to limit his access to information. He said that an administrator publicly berated him and that he was retaliated against for trying to do his job, the AP reports.

"I have been criticized and accused of exceeding the scope of my responsibilities," Maher wrote. "It would seem such accusations arrive only when I am less than laudatory of the school’s policies and protocols." In a statement, the school said it had raised concerns with the attorney general earlier this month about Maher acting outside his role. It denied all of his allegations, saying it has initiated numerous investigations into misconduct allegations. And it said if school officials had questioned conditions of the agreement, Maher would have been obligated to document those concerns in his bi-annual reports, none of which included such allegations. "We believe that the school has complied with all of its obligations under the Settlement Agreement," the school said. Attorney General Gordon MacDonald said that Maher’s resignation letter raises serious concerns and that his office is working with the school to address the future of the settlement. He thanked Maher for his work, "particularly in the face of what had plainly become an untenable situation."

(More St. Paul's School stories.)

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