Church Members Threaten Lawsuit, Seek Mediation over Fraud Allegations
Saturday, January, 17, 2015
Member of a Seattle-based church in the United States have publicly threatened the church with a lawsuit under RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) law over misappropriated funds and the dismissal of the church’s pastor.
Wanting more transparency and a full accounting of what occurred, the members of Mars Hill Church in Seattle have hired an attorney to prepare a RICO lawsuit against the church. They have agreed in principle to pursue mediation with the church before taking the lawsuit further as long as the church agrees that full financial transparency, restitution for financial losses, and the release of an investigative report conducted by the church be part of the mediation goals.
The church’s former pastor, Mark Driscoll, was terminated but the official reasons were not released. Many Mars Hill Church members believe he was involved in the misappropriation of church funds donated by the members, and they would like to know the facts of the case.
The church had requested to see the details of the members’ RICO filing before responding, which the church members have agreed to supply with the understanding that the church must respond to their mediation request in a timely manner or they will proceed to litigation as planned.
The church members have set up a donation web page, and claim they have a donation of $40,000 already to pay mediation or court costs. There has been no legal action taken against former pastor Driscoll or the church itself in any other venue so far.