A Try: Complaint Went Nowhere

Milwaukee Journal
December 20, 1992

Brother Thomas Gardipee was promoted to be athletic director at St. Lawrence Seminary preparatory school even though a staff member had told school officials that Gardipee had given teenage students condoms, alcoholic beverages and erotic magazines, according to the staff member.

Two former students also say Gardipee, who was still athletic director as of last week, asked them to participate in sexual activities with him.

Tim Scott, 34, who supervised the senior dormitory at the school in 1985 and left in the fall of '85 to return to college, said he gave information about these incidents to Brother Dismas Seward and Father Joe Diermeier at the school. Seward was dean of discipline and Diermeier was the acting rector.

Gardipee, Seward and Diermeier could not be reached for comment. Father Kenneth Reinhart, head of the Capuchin province based in Detroit, said he was at St. Lawrence investigating allegations of improprieties last week but would not comment further.

Scott told The Journal he became suspicious of four seniors who seemed to smell of liquor after regularly calling him to say they were in Gardipee's office and weren't going to make curfew.

After the students graduated in 1985, Scott met with the former students, and they provided him with signed statements contending that Gardipee provided them with alcoholic beverages and erotic magazines and had asked two of the boys to masturbate with him.

The Journal interviewed three of the four, two of whom said Gardipee asked them to come to his room and "jag off with him."

Scott gave the written statements of the students to school officials. An investigation was conducted.

Scott said that when school officials decided to allow Gardipee to remain on the faculty, he wrote a letter detailing his objections to an administrator at St. Lawrence.

Two years later, Scott returned to the campus for a visit and was approached by another student who alleged another series of incidents involving Gardipee.

That student, now 21, told The Journal of an incident in August of 1987. He said he had a sore back from running and that Gardipee suggested he go to the whirlpool. He said Gardipee suggested he take off his swimming trunks while using the whirlpool, but the boy declined. Then Gardipee stripped naked, got in the pool and masturbated, the former student said.

The former student also said that Gardipee harassed him, wrote him love letters and went to his Milwaukee-area home uninvited. Later, the student said, Gardipee violently pinned him against a hallway wall and asked the student why he had betrayed him by reporting the incidents.

After these events, Scott said, Gardipee was named athletic director.


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