CHICAGO (CBS) — One of the key leaders of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests has resigned, but he said his departure has nothing to do with a lawsuit filed against the organization this month by a former employee.
For almost 30 years, David Clohessy has been with SNAP. He was national director of the Chicago-based organization.
Clohessy said he told the board in October that he’d be leaving at the end of 2016.
Last week, a former employee filed a lawsuit against SNAP, claiming the non-profit colluded with attorneys who sued the Catholic church over sex abuse in exchange for “kickbacks.” Clohessy said that lawsuit had nothing to do with his resignation.
“I told the board in October I’d be leaving. The lawsuit came completely out of the blue. My last day at work was mid-December. So the lawsuit played no role whatsoever,” he said.
The lawsuit filed by former SNAP staff fundraiser Gretchen Hammond alleges lawyers made big contributions to SNAP in exchange for SNAP referring sex abuse victims to the lawyers.
“If you know anything at all about abuse survivors, the overwhelming majority of us have tremendous issues with authority figures, and we’re fiercely independent,” Clohessy said. “So the idea that there would be some kind of a quid pro quo with anybody is just dead wrong.”
Clohessy said his work at SNAP was “rewarding but draining,” and he said it’s healthy for the organization to get new blood.
Now that he has left SNAP, Clohessy said he will rest and look after his health and catch up on household chores, and do something else that he says “is meaningful and helps others.”