DCFS Drops Child Abuse Allegation Against Former Catholic School Principal

DCFS Drops Child Abuse Allegation Against Former Catholic School Principal

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The state Division of Children and Family Services has dropped an allegation of child abuse against a since-fired Catholic-school principal, his attorney said.

Roger Marcy, former principal at St. John the Baptist Middle School, was fired last year after a claim that he had grabbed a student around the neck, leaving a red mark.

"DCFS agreed to dismiss its petition and they entered a finding of 'unsupported' on their records," said Margaret Olson, Marcy's attorney.

Marcy has sued the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City, claiming that he had not abused the student and that his firing was unfair. The suit seeks damages for several claims including breach of contract, fraud and defamation.

Marcy's actions on Oct. 16, 2002, when he put a hand on the boy's neck and collar and "guided" him to an alcove to talk about inappropriate behavior after his verbal warnings were ignored were not abusive, the lawsuit contends.

Marcy contends diocese officials engaged in a pattern of libel and slander that has hurt his professional and personal reputation and harmed him financially.

Matthew McNulty, the diocese's attorney, said the DCFS dismissal "is not as clear as to why things were dismissed as some people would suggest."

McNulty said Marcy will not be reinstated as principal, and the dismissal "may change how we defend ourselves, but it's not going to change our position."

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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