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Decision No. 655

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April 25 1991
In Re: Appeal of a Decision of the North Central Jurisdictional Court of Appeals Concerning Actions of a Trial Court in the Minnesota Annual Conference.

Digest of Case

The decision of the North Central Jurisdiction Court of Appeals sustaining the verdict of the Trial Court of the Minnesota Annual Conference relating to Gordon Johnson is affirmed.

Statement of Facts

Gordon Johnson, a Local Pastor in the Minnesota Annual Conference, was charged with sexual harassment and disobedience to the Order and Discipline of The United Methodist Church. Trial was held on these charges during May, 1990. At the beginning of the trial Gordon Johnson pleaded guilty to the charge of disobedience to the Order and Discipline of The United Methodist Church. He was tried on the charge of sexual harassment and found guilty on both specifications of the charge. Gordon Johnson appealed the decision of the trial court to the North Central Jurisdiction Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial court and Gordon Johnson appealed that decision to this Council. J. Westcoat Sandlin presented oral argument for Gordon Johnson and Clemment Peterson presented oral argument for the church on April 25, 1991. The appellant was present. JURISDICTION The Judicial Council has jurisdiction under Par. 2625 of the 1988 Discipline. ANALYSIS Par. 2625.1(g) states that the appellate court shall determine two questions only: (1) Does the weight of the evidence sustain the charge? (2) Were theresuch errors of law as to vitiate the verdict and/or the penalty? In an examination of the record the Jurisdictional Court of Appeals found that the weight of the evidence sustained the charge and that there were no errors as to vitiate the verdict and/or penalty. We find no errors in procedure or law.

Decision

The decision of the Jurisdictional Court of Appeals sustaining the verdict of the trial court of the Minnesota Annual Conference is affirmed.

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