Diocese of Wheeling-charleston Issues Release on Lawsuit

September 21, 2020

WHEELING, W.Va. (WTOV) – The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston issued a statement responding to a civil lawsuit by a former Parkersburg Catholic High School Principal. John Gobolewski alleges retaliation for reporting abuse.

The diocese said the former principal's contract was not renewed and no issues were raised in discussions. The diocese said it won in court a motion to compel arbitration of the non-renewal of the contract.

Further, the diocese said its sexual abuse review board did not find credible abuse claims.

Statement Regarding Civil Suit Filed by Former PCHS Principal

This civil suit arises from an employment dispute with a former principal whose contract was not renewed. The Superintendent of Schools, Mary Ann Deschaine, and the designated pastor of the school, Fr. John Rice, determined it was in the best interest of the school to have new leadership. No issues with Fr. Rice were raised in the discussions with the former principal.

The recent news story was prompted by the Court’s granting the Diocese’s motion to compel arbitration of the non-renewal of the contract pursuant to the terms of the contract.

The allegations alleged involving Fr. Rice were promptly investigated, reviewed by the Diocesan Sexual Abuse Review Board and determined not to be credible abuse claims.








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