Lawsuit: Archdiocese used dirty tricks

Oct. 20, 2010 at 2:52 PM
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ST. LOUIS, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- A Catholic church in St. Louis has sued the archdiocese's law firm, charging its lawyers turned the church's former attorney into their agent.

The lawsuit on behalf of St. Stanislaus Kostka Church also says Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, which has offices in St. Louis and Belleville, Ill., used a "mole" at St. Stanislaus, the Belleville News-Democrat reported. In his complaint, lawyer Thomas Q. Keefe Jr. says the mole attended sensitive meetings and passed information back to the law firm.

Keefe, who practices in Belleville, filed the lawsuit in Illinois on the grounds that the Greensfelder firm has an office in the state.

The legal battle dates back to 1891 when Archbishop Peter Kenrick, then the head of the St. Louis diocese, gave control of St. Stanislaus's property to a corporation run by the pastor and a lay board. The archdiocese sued the church in 2008 when the congregation refused to surrender control of the property and has removed diocesan priests and is trying to excommunicate the priest now serving at St. Stanislaus.

Keefe charges much of the information the church used to file the 2008 lawsuit came from Roger Krasnicki, formerly attorney for St. Stanislaus.

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