CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A monitor appointed to oversee the handling of sexual abuse claims at St. Paul’s School in Concord has resigned, accusing campus officials of thwarting his efforts.
Jeffrey Maher was appointed as the school’s independent compliance overseer last year as part of an agreement with the attorney general’s office that subjected the school to up to five years of government oversight in lieu of criminal charges. The 2018 agreement followed an investigation that found credible evidence of abuse involving 20 former faculty members over several decades.READ MORE: Police Searching Woods In Abington For Missing 5-Year-Old Elijah Lewis
Maher, a former college safety director and police captain, resigned Monday, citing what he called “an intolerable working environment.” He said school leadership questioned many conditions of the agreement, discouraged investigations that could have legal impacts and tried to limit his access to information. He said an administrator publicly berated him and that he was retaliated against for trying to do his job.
Maher also said he is facing a “seemingly orchestrated threat” of a civil lawsuit by an administrator.
“I have been criticized and accused of exceeding the scope of my responsibilities,” he wrote. “It would seem such accusations arrive only when I am less than laudatory of the school’s policies and protocols.”READ MORE: 'Plan For Alternatives': Toys May Be In Short Supply This Holiday Season
A spokesperson for St. Paul’s School did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Attorney General Gordon MacDonald said Maher’s resignation letter raises very serious concerns, and that his office is working with the school to address the future of the settlement agreement and the role of the compliance overseer. He thanked Maher for his work, “particularly in the face of what had plainly become an untenable situation.”
Maher’s job included regularly reporting the status of the school’s compliance with the agreement. His most recent report, in January, said the school was doing a better job of addressing complaints but should improve its policies around investigating crimes and assisting victims.
The report also said the school received 31 incident reports over the last six months of 2019. The incidents, mostly involving sexual or physical assault, occurred on and off the campus. More than half were incidents that happened in the past, but the report did not give a time frame.MORE NEWS: Lauren Astley's Father Works With Wayland Students To Raise Awareness About Teen Dating Violence
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