Here is a quick recap:
School officials conveniently “forgot” to mention that at the time the application was filed in January, the school had 15 outstanding legal claims against them for child sexual abuse, all of which could be converted into lawsuits against the school and the Diocese of Honolulu under Hawaii’s landmark civil window for victims.
Here is what they didn’t mention on the application:
- As of January 2013, there were at least FIVE child sex abuse lawsuits against Damien Memorial School and the Diocese of Honolulu. John Roes 1-5 include victims of Fr. Gerald Funcheon, Brother John Paul Medvit, Brother Robert Brouillette, and Fr. George DeCosta,
- At that time, there were 15 active child sex abuse legal claims against the school in the Irish Christian Brothers’ bankruptcy proceedings,
- The individual schools (like Damien) are still liable as a part of the bankruptcy and subsequent settlement,
- Since January 2013, at least six more victims at Damien have come forward and filed sex abuse lawsuits, including victims of Bruce Cullerton and Thomas Duffin. You can read most of the legal complaints here.
That’s a lot of lawsuits. But the board of directors didn’t bother to update their state grant application.
Wait, there is more:
- At least twelve teachers at the school have been accused of abuse (or convicted),
- Last year, former Damien principal Karl Walczak was removed from his job in Seattle due to sex abuse allegations,
- Former dean of students Thomas Ford was convicted of the violent abuse of abandoned children,
- Former school chaplain Fr. Gerald Funcheon admitted in a taped deposition that he molested kids at Damien.
Which leads to my question: What did the board of directors know? Why would they approve a grant application that falsely states the status of Damien’s legal problems? You can see the board of directors pictured here. The website declined to identify them, so I’ll list their names:
DE REGO, LOVEY-ANN
SITAR, GREGORY J.
DUNNE, PATRICK D. BR.
MONIZ, JEFFREY A.S. DR.
ACZON, EDMUND C
KWOCK, STEPHEN Y.H.
POLLOCK, PAUL A.
WONG, JAMES W. Y.
HO, BERNARD A.K.S. HO
Someone needs to ask them what they know …
And the grant needs to be rescinded. Taxpayer dollars should go to organizations that don’t lie on applications.