MT. CALVARY - The president and rector of St. Lawrence Seminary High School in Mt. Calvary, Rev. Dennis Druggan, is on administrative leave after sexual misconduct allegations surface.
That's according to the Capuchin Province of St. Joseph.
News of Druggan's leave comes after FOX 11 obtained a statement from the Detroit-based Catholic order which owns and operates the all male college prep school in northeastern Fond du Lac County.
The Province says the allegations revolve around a minor at St. Labre Indian School in Ashland, Mont., from more than 25 years ago.
The Province tells FOX 11 Druggan served as a pastor at the school from 1984-1988 and as the co-executive director from 1988-1991.
According to St. Lawrence Seminary's website, Druggan has been at St. Lawrence since 1993.
The Province says there have been no allegations involving Druggan's time spent at St. Lawrence Seminary.
Druggan was notified of the allegations and placed on administrative leave Friday.
He has denied any misconduct.
Province officials say it became aware of the allegations in June and made contact with officials in Rosebud County, Mont. to start a possible criminal investigation.
During this time, the Province says Druggan was not made aware of the allegations until law enforcement authorized, as per provincial policy.
The Province says it has been notified there will be no criminal investigation or charges stemming from the allegations because the alleged incident happened beyond Montana's statute of limitations.
FOX 11 put in calls into the Rosebud County Sheriff's Department.
Our calls were not returned.
However, the Associated Press reports Montana prosecutors would neither confirm nor deny an investigation into Druggan.
"We're trying to, like I said, be as open about it as we can," said Capuchin Province of St. Joseph Provincial Minister Rev. John Celichowski in a phone interview. "But we also want to respect certain aspects of privacy and confidentiality, too. It's a delicate balance."
Celichowski says the order hopes to hire an independent investigator shortly.
However, he expects the investigation to take some time because of the travel that is required.
The Provincial Review Board will take the results of the investigation and make recommendations to Celichowski.
As a result of Druggan being placed on paid administrative leave, St. Lawrence Friary Local Minister Rev. John Holly will serve as the school's acting rector.
The school's academic dean, David Bartel, will serve as the acting principal.
In the statement from the Province says it and St. Lawrence are "dedicated to creating a safe environment for everyone in our ministries." The statement goes on to say "We are also committed to our ministry of Catholic education at St. Lawrence Seminary. We ask that people keep everyone involved in this matter in their prayers."
Celichowski says the person making the allegations has been offered counseling.
According to the school's website, St. Lawrence Seminary High School is an all-male college preparatory boarding high school.
Founded in 1860, the school is owned and operated by the Capuchin-Franciscan friars and has a student population of about 225 men.
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