SNAP founder and director resigns amid claims of collusion


SNAP  founder and director Barbara Blaine has resigned amid claims of collusion and a lawsuit by a former employee.

Blaine has not given any reason for her resignation from SNAP – the Survivors’ Network of those Abused by Priests. She founded  SNAP three decades ago.

In January, Blaine, David Clohessy, the executive director of SNAP, and Barbara Dorris, SNAP’s outreach director were named in a lawsuit by a former employee.

They deny the charges.

The employee, Gretchen Hammond, claims she was sacked after she learned SNAP’s principal officers were colluding with attorneys representing sex abuse survivors.

She says in charges made in papers filed with the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, that SNAP accepts financial kickbacks for referring abuse victims to attorneys.

The Court files say Hammond was fired after discovering “SNAP does not focus on protecting or helping survivors  –  it exploits them.

“SNAP routinely accepts financial kickbacks from attorneys in the form of ‘donations.’ In exchange for the kickbacks, SNAP refers survivors as potential clients to attorneys, who then file lawsuits on behalf of the survivors against the Catholic Church.

“These cases often settle, to the financial benefit of the attorneys and, at times, to the financial benefit of SNAP, which has received direct payments from survivors’ settlements.”

Blaine denies the charges.

“The allegations are not true,” she said in a statement sent to Catholic News Service as well as other news organizations.

“This will be proven in court.

“SNAP leaders are now, and always have been, devoted to following the SNAP mission, which is ‘To help victims heal and to prevent further sexual abuse’.”




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