A Jesuit priest who is the president of prestigious Regis High School in Manhattan is being removed over claims of sexual misconduct, according to reports. The school, said on Sunday that it has taken a decision to remove the Rev. Daniel Lahart from his position at the educational establishment, according to a letter sent to the community Sunday.
The school first learnt about the sexual misconduct allegations against Lahart at the end of February. Following that, it publicly announced on its websitethat Lahart, 59, who had been the school's president since 2016, had been placed on leave pending the outcome of an investigation.
The all-boys school, which is tuition free and counts some prominent names including Dr. Anthony Fauci among its notable alumni, said that following investigations its Board of Trustees has decided to fire Lahart in the coming few weeks. "The Board of Trustees has determined, based on the findings of the third party investigator, Fr. Lahart engaged in inappropriate and unwelcome verbal communications and physical conduct, all of a sexual nature, with adult members of the Regis community, including subordinates," reads the letter sent to parents.
"This conduct was non-consensual, and moreover, continued notwithstanding express requests from the affected parties for the conduct to cease," it further states.
The school said that it received information about Lahart that raised serious questions about his ability to continue to serve in this critical role especially after learning that he may have behaved inappropriately in his interactions with certain adult members of our community.
However, the school in the letter, sent to Chair Anthony DiNovi, also clarified that the allegations do not in any way concern students, past or present.
In No Mood to Cooperate
The investigation was conducted by third-party investigative firm, T&M USA, which determined that Lahart had acted inappropriately. Lahart, who was named president in 2016, was invited to participate in the probe but declined to do so, DiNovi wrote.
Lahart was told last week that the board, after getting the nod from the USA East Province of the Society of Jesus, intended to remove him from his position effective April 21. That said not much is known about the kind of sexual misconduct the priest had committed and who were his victims.
The board said it would not be divulging any other details about the allegations "in order to protect the privacy of the individuals involved. "We assure you that the investigation was conducted with a commitment to due process," the letter states.
"Please know the Board did not come to its decision lightly and took seriously its obligation to act with transparency, integrity, and compassion in service of our community, both with respect to Fr. Lahart and to those members of our community who were harmed by his conduct."