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Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Monday, September 26, 2016

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St. John's execs investigated
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Vincentian Father Donald J. Harrington announced his resignation May 3 as the president of St. John's University in Jamaica, N.Y. He had been president at St. John's for 24 years. His resignation takes effect July 31. He is pictured in 2009 photo.
Catholic News Service photo
Vincentian Father Donald J. Harrington announced his resignation May 3 as the president of St. John's University in Jamaica, N.Y. He had been president at St. John's for 24 years. His resignation takes effect July 31. He is pictured in 2009 photo.

Catholic News Service


An investigation by St. John’s University, in Jamaica, N.Y., found “no criminal wrongdoing” on the part of its recently retired president, but “errors in judgment” by top university officials over financial conflicts of interest and lack of disclosure to the school’s board of trustees.

Vincentian Father Donald Harrington retired at the end of July after 24 years at the university. Robert Wile, the university’s senior vice president of institutional advancement and athletics and Father Harrington’s chief of staff, also resigned earlier in the summer. Both had been the focus of the internal probe.

The investigation followed the trial of Cecilia Chang, a former St. John’s dean and chief fundraiser, who had been accused of defrauding the university and forcing international students to do personal work for her. The trial ended when Chang committed suicide the day after she took the witness stand in her own defense.

Chang’s actions and financial dealings of Father Harrington and Wile were brought to light in a series of articles in New York magazine before Chang was charged.





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