A Chicago woman has filed a lawsuit against an abuse-survivors' advocacy organization, alleging that the group fired her in retaliation for investigating the organization's finances.
Gretchen Rachel Hammond, who is a senior newswriter for Windy City Times, filed the lawsuit against Survivor's Network of those Abused by Priests ( SNAP ) in Cook County Circuit Court on Jan. 17. SNAP's ostensible mission is to support and advocate for survivors of abuse at the hands of Catholic Church personnel. The organization is based in Chicago.
Hammond's suit alleges that SNAP, with whom she was employed as a development executive from 2011-2013, exploits survivors by directing them to attorneys who, in turn, both paid kickbacks to SNAP and regularly breached client-confidentiality protocols in subsequent communications with the organization. Donations from those attorneys allegedly made up a sizable fraction of SNAP's budget.
"While SNAP claims that it is motivated by the interests of survivors, in fact, SNAP is motivated largely by the personal animus of its operators and directors against the Catholic Church," Hammond's complaint stated.
SNAP has denied the allegations.