FORT WORTH (June 4, 2018) — As sure as I am a journalist, I have wondered in the past week few weeks how news media could have been so certain in their stories that they were reporting objectively. After all, initially there were no comments from Paige Patterson, and none from his attorney.
While it was told he was out of the country, that means little to nothing in this day and age, especially since his attorney, presumably, was not. What it could mean is that, once again, there was a rush to get the story out, with little thought for telling both sides in something that is surely a controversial matter. There are dozens of stories that have been released in newspapers and magazines from the Washington Post to Christianity Today to Dallas News.
In balance, I suggest reading this press release/statement from Paige Patterson’s attorney J. Shelby Sharpe, of Fort Worth.
The release of facts in response to further accusations against terminated SWBTS president Paige Patterson
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Shelby Sharpe, Sharpe & Rector P.C., (817) 338-4900
June 4, 2018
Given the wide-spread misrepresentation and misinformation regarding Dr. Patterson, it is important to set the facts straight. Insofar as they continue to be misrepresented publicly, accurate and appropriate responses will be issued.
This media release is in response to a release late Friday afternoon, June 1, 2018, from Kevin Ueckert, chairman of the board of trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS), concerning an executive committee decision of May 30, 2018, to terminate Dr. Patterson immediately.
The sole purpose of this release is to set forth facts and to put into perspective the committee’s decision and the way in which that decision was made.
Following is an itemization of the facts regarding the middle of the night termination made by the executive committee without all the relevant documents on which to base a decision:
– Chairman Ueckert states in the release that the executive committee received student records from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) that contradicted an answer Dr. Patterson gave to a trustee’s question during the full board meeting of May 22.
– Dr. Patterson was terminated without an opportunity to see the material or to respond to it.
– Neither Dr. Patterson nor his legal counsel was notified of the existence of this material allegedly incriminating Dr. Patterson prior to his termination.
– To date, requests by Dr. Patterson’s legal counsel to see the material have been denied.
– At Dr. Patterson’s request and after being made aware of the name of the Southeastern student making the accusation against Dr. Patterson, Dr. Patterson’s staff checked the terminated president’s personal archives for any related correspondence. Letters found from the accuser to Dr. Patterson appear to validate that Dr. Allan Moseley, the SEBTS Dean of Students, and not Dr. Patterson, handled the matter. The accuser also apologizes for what she called her sin and makes no mention of or reference to rape.
– Copies of these letters were provided to Southwestern’s legal counsel on May 31, 2018.
– Because the executive committee did not give Dr. Patterson an opportunity to respond before his termination while in Germany for a long-standing commitment, the committee did not have in hand all relevant documents on which to base its decision prior to making that decision.
Following is an itemization of the facts pertaining to the charge in the chairman’s release that Dr. Patterson lied in answer to a trustee’s question at the May 22 board meeting:
– The incident in question concerns a time period in which Dr. Patterson was in the process of moving to Fort Worth, Texas, from Wake Forest, North Carolina, approximately 15 years ago.
– A personal ‘thank you’ letter to Dr. Patterson provided to Southwestern Seminary’s legal counsel plainly states that a student at SEBTS first interacted with a faculty member and then with Dr. Moseley. She thanked Dr. Patterson for being able to stay in school and for the way in which the school handled the matter.