Fort Worth prison allowed religious discrimination to worsen among employees, the proceedings say


Catholic minister FMC Carswell Federal Prison According to a lawsuit in Fort Worth, he did nothing to stop him, but exposed his colleagues and prisoners to religious discrimination and harassment for seven years. Federal Bureau of Prisons..

Reverend Michael Onu has been accused of repeatedly making derogatory remarks about Protestant ministers and other religions while refusing to make some of the obligations to help non-Catholic prisoners. The lawsuit states.

Protestant minister Casey Campbell has complained dozens of times to Carswell’s leadership and BOP. His complaint was supplemented by complaints from other employees and at least one person imprisoned in FMC Carswell.

The imprisoned, Leslie Hi, said he faced retaliation from Onu for helping women practicing other religions, saying it was part of her job. And because Catholic Hi was “forbidden to touch Catholics in the sacristy” by Onu, she was unable to practice her religion, her lawyer. David Smith, Colorado,Said.

The prison bureau refused to answer questions from Star Telegram because of the proceedings in dispute. A spokeswoman said the Parish of Fort Worth does not have jurisdiction over a federal prison chaplain. Bishop Michael Olson, who received a letter from Hee about her problem, forwarded it to the station.

Complaints from the pastor

According to the proceedings, the issue of Campbell’s Onu began in 2012, when Catholic ministers began making derogatory statements about Protestant ministers.

Onu also refused to escort non-Catholic volunteers in prison as needed for his work, refused to oversee non-Catholic activities, and accused the non-Catholic minister of leaving extra work. States.

According to the proceedings, many other FMC Carswell ministers, other employees, volunteers, visitors, and prisoners were also dissatisfied with Onu’s actions for more than four years.

When he did nothing, Campbell escalated the complaint in 2017 and filed it with the BOP. Equal Employment Opportunity Committee.. A survey two years later found that Campbell was a victim of religious discrimination and was subject to compensation.

According to the proceedings, two other ministers also filed an EEO complaint against Onuh.

Onuh was not asked to comment, and his lawyer did not immediately respond to the request for comment.

The Department of Justice, which oversees the BOP, ordered Carswell’s leadership to correct the situation immediately, but instead the leadership “did not fully comply and Campbell to correct ongoing illegal religious discrimination. I was forced to file additional complaints. ” In proceedings.

At the time the findings were released, the proceedings stated that Onu had been accused of:

▪ ▪ Islamic religious services will be canceled on July 19, 2019.

▪ ▪ On July 13, 2019, the day’s worship was canceled due to refusal to escort community volunteers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

▪ ▪ Deny access to the same volunteers on August 10, 2019.

▪ ▪ As a result of rescheduling his work on August 15, 2019 without permission or notice, the scheduled worship service of the Wicca community was cancelled.

▪ ▪ Abuse prisoners assigned to religious services in February 2020.

▪ ▪ Not continuing to respond to “religious services” calls on pastors as needed.

Campbell said he began to face retaliation after filing multiple complaints and was told by the Deputy Secretary to stop the complaints or that Onu would be stalked. Then he was told to avoid Onu when their schedules overlapped.

Campbell’s lawyer, Michael Dunleavy, refused to comment further on the case because it was pending in federal court.

Complaints from imprisoned clerk

Campbell was a victim of religious discrimination from Onu, but Hi, who has been imprisoned by FMC Carswell for drug convictions since 2016, said: “Racist comments, degrading accusations, betrayals, and We are facing that discrimination, with complete contempt for ourselves and others. ” From Onu.

Her lawyer said the problem began a few years before she was accused of having an inappropriate relationship with another minister. According to Smith, this claim was made by another prisoner and Onu.

“The situation was investigated by BOP and determined to be unfounded, which means that the BOP language could not find any evidence to support it,” Smith said. “MS. He has been working in the pastoral area for years and her position is one of organizing different events that different religious denominations want, so she is Catholic, Protestant and Muslim. Involved in organizing what you have for prisoners. She believes Onu hates such situations and should not arrange events for various groups. , I believe that is the cause of her problems with him. “

Then in November 2019, Onu called for a meeting of some BOP employees and a few prisoners. He told them that someone used utility sink water to celebrate the Mass. He didn’t name who did it, but later told him she was no longer allowed to touch “the Catholics of the Sacristy.”

“It effectively prevented her from participating in communion, at which point she was virtually cut off from practicing her religion,” Smith said.

Asked how this move affected her, He missed worship with a Catholic family and believed that this was a retaliation for helping other religions. Was stated in the message.

“Above all, I really miss attending the Eucharist, sponsoring Christians seeking initiation, renewing their baptismal vows when they enter the church, and experiencing pardon through the sacrament of reconciliation,” she wrote. I am.

He mailed Bishop Michael Olson a letter in 2019 outlining the problems she faced with Onu.

“I endured Father Onu’s racist comments, hurt my accusations, sweared, and completely despised myself and others,” she wrote.

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