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Statement from Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley

Brighton. MA.......In late April, Cardinal Sean O'Malley was first notified of complaints that had been made by two female employees at Caritas Christi that Dr. Robert Haddad , President and CEO of Caritas Christi, had engaged in conduct consisting of kissing or hugging of employees. This conduct was alleged to have occurred on hospital property in public and in private.

Cardinal Sean took these allegations extremely seriously and sought to resolve them as expeditiously as possible, in a manner that is fair to all involved parties. After consultation with legal counsel and appropriate officials at Caritas Christi, it was agreed that an independent outside investigator would be hired to investigate these complaints. The Cardinal also sought the advice of outside legal counsel possessing expertise in the area of employment law to evaluate the investigation and make an independent recommendation of appropriate disciplinary action to take in response to the findings of the investigation. In the course of the investigation, two other women also reported to the investigator they experienced similar conduct by Dr. Haddad.

The Cardinal received the reports of these outside advisors and came to the preliminary judgment, based on the advice received, that the appropriate disciplinary actions consisted of a stern reprimand and warning to Dr. Haddad and a directive to participate in sexual harassment sensitivity training. In addition, Dr. Haddad was advised that any retaliatory action or any future credible complaints such as these would result in his immediate termination. The identity of the women who brought these allegations has not been shared with Dr. Haddad.

Before making a final decision, Cardinal Sean sought the guidance of the Board of Governor's of Caritas Christi. Before submitting the matter to the Board of Governors, the Cardinal first received directly from Dr. Haddad his assurance that such behavior would not ocur again. Dr. Haddad also indicated to the Cardinal that he did not intend to offend anyone by his actions. The Caritas Christi Board of Governors voted unanimously (with one member abstaining) to accept the Cardinal's proposed disciplinary plan last Thursday evening. This is the first time that any allegations regarding improper conduct by Dr. Haddad had been received by either the Cardinal or the Board of Governors.

The outside investigator is in the process of making direct outreach to the women who brought these complaints forward, to assure them that their complaints were taken extremely seriously by the Cardinal and the Board of Governors, that their complaints were investigated thoroughly and that the sanctions imposed were in keeping with the recommendations of the outside labor experts. She will also assure them that the Cardinal and Board of Governors are extremely serious and sincere about hearing of any future action - either inapropriate behavior or retaliation. They are being instructed to report any such information directly to her.

At Thursday's Board of Governors' meeting, concerns were raised regarding some aspects of the manner in which the Caritas Christi human resource department received and processed the employees' complaints. The first complaint was received by the human resource department in early February, but no action was taken to bring this complaint to the attention of the Chair of the Board of Governors or the Cardinal until late April. The Board of Governors has requested that there be a review of the department's procedures and performance to assure strict adherence to Caritas Christi policies and the application of best practices in this area.

Cardinal Sean O'Malley and the Caritas Christi Board of Governors reiterate their commitment to providing a working environment free from sexual harassment.


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