ANN ARBOR – Longtime chaplain at Father Gabriel Richard High School, Fr. Richard Lobert, has been placed on “ministerial leave” pending an investigation.
The measure was announced by school president John DeJak in a letter to parents and students on Dec. 18. At this time, no details have been released about the investigation or how long it is expected to take. DeJak said in his letter that the “investigation carries no presumption of guilt.”
Local 4 News contacted Fr. Lobert’s attorney Michael Gildner for comment.
“He and I are cooperating fully with law enforcement because he has nothing to hide,” said Gildner. “(It is) standard practice to put anyone on leave during the investigation.”
On Tuesday, the Archdiocese of Baltimore announced it removed Fr. Lobert’s archdiocesan priestly faculties after it was notified of the investigation by the Diocese of Lansing.
In its press release, the Archdiocese of Baltimore also encouraged those with information about any representative of the Church engaging in inappropriate behavior to come forward:
“Anyone with information about inappropriate conduct by a representative of the Church is encouraged to contact the Archdiocese of Baltimore by calling Chancellor Diane Barr at 410-547-5446, by calling the Ethics Hotline at 1-888-572-8026, or by visiting www.archbalt.org and clicking on ‘Report Misconduct’ at the top of the page. Anyone with information about criminal conduct is encouraged to also contact law enforcement.”
See DeJak’s full statement below:
Dear Fr. Gabriel Richard High School Community,
His Excellency Bishop Earl Boyea has asked me to share with you the following statement.
Father Richard Lobert has been placed on ministerial leave pending the outcome of an investigation. The investigation carries no presumption of guilt. The Diocese will attend to this matter swiftly and fairly.
In the interest of protecting the privacy of all parties, no more information will be shared until the investigation is completed. Entrusting our entire school community to the protection of Our Lady, Seat of Wisdom, I remain,
Sincerely yours in the Lord,
John M. DeJak