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Bishop Dismisses Complaints In Arkansas Pedophile Youth Worker Case, Except Against The Pastor Who Filed Them

From: Michael D. Hinton mdhinton@mindspring.com
Sent: Saturday, February 24, 2001 10:26 AM 
To: John Warrener 
Subject: ACCOUNTABILITY WATCH -- Skunked in Arkansas


I'm writing to report the latest outrages.

Received a letter from Bishop Oden dismissing my complaint against Bishop Huie. The letter obfuscates the main point of my contention that Bishop Huie was disobedient with regard to making appointments according to the "Criteria" outlined in Paragraph 432. Oden's letter does not mention the word "criteria." He does not address the fact that there are none developed in Arkansas, that the appointive system there is an irrational, sibling-in-law operation. It appears that there is no limit, rule or discipline of the Church that applies to Bishops, which they "shall" or "must" perform, or to which they should submit as servant-leaders. Rather, they are arrogant, autocratic-types, who abuse their calling and office. "Criteria" are incumbent upon the Bishop to fulfill, not the Pastor to suffer. And information gleaned in "consultation" should not be used to determine how best to abuse a Pastor and family.

Also received a letter and documents from Michael Maddox, Superintendent of the Little Rock District, who informed me that my complaint against Dennis Hartwick was dismissed. Dennis Hartwick, of the Amboy United Methodist Church in North Little Rock, Arkansas, is the true and legal name of the perpetrator who once confessed to me an inappropriate sexual advance toward his great nephew, whose family members, a brother, sister-in-law and an uncle, expressed concern about Dennis' sexual behavior and who himself admitted to me a 40-year history of sexual advances toward children.

Maddox's letter contained an out-and-out lie concerning the police investigation of Mr. Hartwick. Maddox said, "the investigating detective found the allegation to be groundless." Actually, the police report says that since "the victim's family refusing to cooperate in the investigation, this case will be considered exceptionally cleared by the victim." Cleared by the victim, NOT the police. BIG difference.

Besides, the standard for testing a church member's standing is not a police report.

So, Maddox also said in his letter, "we were persuaded that Mr. Hartwick's behavior was appropriate." Outrageous!!! Tell me what's "appropriate" about a 60-year-old man, alone in a darkened back room of the church, with his hands cradling the face of an 11-year-old boy? On the face of it, it's inappropriate. You just don't touch other people's children these days. And after what Hartwick confessed to me ... "appropriate"!!! How can Michael Maddox come to that conclusion without even speaking to me about my pastoral experience with Hartwick???

It would seem that the moral universe is being twisted completely out of shape in Arkansas Methodism to cover the exposed back-side of one Janice Riggle Huie. According to my attorney, Arkansas law states that it is illegal to terminate an employee while said employee is in furtherance of a state policy. Well, it is state policy to protect children from pedophiles. There is no state policy to protect perpetrators. So, Huie has a big problem. One day last summer I got a Fed-Ex package from Huie with two letters in it. In one letter she commended me for my "good judgment" in reporting Dennis Hartwick to the police. In the other letter she informed me of the complaint filed against me by Max Whitfield. Well, if I had good judgment, why was I unfairly removed from my Charge?

When I ask that question I'm told I was not "pastoral" or "compassionate." Is that why I started an ecumenical food pantry that serves over a hundred families a month? Is that why I visit chronically ill and homebound members on a regular basis? Is that why I answer the phone at any hour, day or night? Is that why I pray with grieving families? Is that why I sit for hours listening to my people's problems and frustrations in life? Is that why I preach the love of God in Christ Jesus, who died for us and forgives us all our sins? Is that why I arranged counseling for Dennis Hartwick the first time I knew about his problem? This assessment, that I am not "pastoral" or "compassionate" is from Jan Edwards, who is the self-righteous Superintendent over Amboy. She once told me that the perpetrator "needs a place in the church, too." (I gave him a place ... just not around children.)

I suppose Jan is more "compassionate" than me. And I suppose Michael Maddox is more "pastoral" in saying it's "appropriate" that a confessed perpetrator put his hands on a little boy. What a bunch of jerks.

Yours in Christ,

Michael D. Hinton, M.Div.

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