Attorney Wants Broward Priest Reinstated after Dropping of Sexual Misconduct Lawsuit
By James D. Davis
September 29, 2006
The attorney for a suspended Broward County priest said Thursday that a sexual misconduct lawsuit against the priest had been dropped, and that the Archdiocese of Miami would be asked to reinstate him.
The Rev. Jan Malicki, a former associate priest at St. David Catholic Church in Davie, had been accused of abusing two women in the 1990s. However, the women have abandoned their lawsuit, his attorney Ellis Rubin said.
"Father Malicki's years in purgatory have finally ended," Rubin said after a news conference in Miami. "There is no obstacle now to his being reinstated as a full priest."
However, archdiocesan spokeswoman Mary Ross Agosta said the development didn't affect Malicki's status of suspension with pay. Reinstatement matters are handled "on a case-by-case basis," and no decision has been made to reactivate Malicki, she said.
The women filed suit in 1998 against Malicki and the archdiocese, alleging the priest abused them from 1994 to 1997. The archdiocese settled earlier this year for an undisclosed amount in "the high six figures," according to the women's attorney, May L. Cain. However, Malicki wasn't part of that settlement, and Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Pedro P. Echarte Jr. dismissed the case against him in August for lack of prosecution. "The time had come for both victims to move on with their lives," said a prepared statement by Cain and her partner, William J. Snihur Jr.
In his own statement, Malicki, 57, accused the archdiocese of "painful and unprofessional actions" for announcing an investigation of the women's claims. "The archdiocese unjustly took away my good name, my life of priesthood and carried out my character assassination," he said.
Agosta, the archdiocesan representative, called Malicki's accusations "old news," pointing out that he tried to sue the archdiocese for ruining his good name. A Miami-Dade circuit judge dismissed that lawsuit in 2003.
She added: "A press conference is not the appropriate forum for a priest to use to get back in good graces with an archbishop, to which he is supposed to be in obedience."
James D. Davis can be reached at email@example.com or 954-356-4730.
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