May 22, 2006

Church widens probe of Caritas chief

Boston Globe

By Walter V. Robinson and Maria Cramer, Globe Staff | May 22, 2006

Dr. Robert M. Haddad, the Caritas Christi Health Care system president who was reprimanded last week for sexually harassing four women, admitted to an investigator for the Boston Archdiocese that he had engaged in hugging and kissing with others as well, one of the archdiocese's lawyers said yesterday. He also said witnesses had supplied still more names of women they had seen Haddad hugging and kissing.

David M. Mandel, an employment law specialist working for the archdiocese, said in an interview that the archdiocese is launching a further investigation of Haddad following reports that he ''leered and winked" at one of the four victims on May 10, after the archdiocesan investigation was all but concluded. If the inquiry establishes that the incident happened, Mandel said, then the Caritas board of governors that agreed to the ''stern reprimand" would have to consider possible further sanctions.

Mandel said the board was told Thursday that there were more than the four women involved before they endorsed Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley's recommendation that Haddad be reprimanded and receive instruction in sexual harassment guidelines.

Many women, and several employment law specialists, expressed surprise and dismay that Haddad had not been fired for repeated instances of hugging, kissing, and other touching with the four women, but the archdiocese said he would be dismissed if there were any further incident or any retaliation by Haddad.

Posted by kshaw at May 22, 2006 07:32 AM