The Steward Board of First AME Church of Los Angeles said today that Los
Angeles police were called when Church leaders first learned that
private, personal communications between Pastor John Hunter and Mrs.
Denise Hunter had been unlawfully taken.
“They immediately called the Los Angeles Police Department, and they
have been cooperating fully with them since that time,” said Robert W.
Brockman, Jr., the attorney for the First AME Church and the Hunters.
“Late last week, the police gave us permission to say that we had filed
a police report and that an investigation was ongoing.”
Mrs. Constance Fortune, a member of the Church Executive Committee and
Chairperson of the Church’s Board of Trustees #2, said the Executive
Committee first learned that the Hunters’ personal, private
communications had been unlawfully taken when an attorney for Mrs.
Brenda Lamothe showed copies to Mr. Brockman, claimed that the
communications had been sent by Pastor Hunter to Mrs. Lamothe and
demanded a monetary settlement on behalf of Mrs. Lamothe.
“When Pastor and Mrs. Hunter identified these as their own personal
communications as husband and wife, we knew immediately what we had to
do. We called the police,” Mrs. Fortune said. “This was before Mrs.
Lamothe filed her lawsuit and before she started having press
Mrs. Fortune said that Mrs. Lamothe first threatened a lawsuit the week
before the Southern California Conference of the African Methodist
Episcopal Church held from October 25 to November 1 at the Sheraton
Gateway Hotel. The conference of pastors, clergy and lay people from all
district churches is held annually to review each church’s annual
report, all leading up to the appointment of pastors.
“This was obviously timed to interfere with the conference and the
anticipated reappointment of Pastor John to the pastoral charge at FAME
Los Angeles,” Mrs. Fortune said, noting that at that time Bishop Larry
T. Kirkland, Sr., was expected to reappoint Pastor Hunter to the Los
Even though he had previously been made aware of Mrs. Lamothe’s
allegations, Bishop Kirkland did reappoint Pastor Hunter to the Los
Angeles Church, she said.
“If she had these letters and communications all along, why did she wait
until more than a year after she resigned to threaten to file a
lawsuit?” Mrs. Fortune said. “She came forward the week before the
conference. We felt we had to file suit to put a stop to this malicious
attack on the Church and on the Hunters’ relationship with the Church.”
The Church and the Hunters are the plaintiffs in their own lawsuit (FAME,
et al. v. Lamothe – LASC Case No.: LC087455), which was filed
in Superior Court in Los Angeles on November 3 against Mrs. Lamothe. The
lawsuit alleges the conversion of the Hunters’ personal property,
infliction of emotional distress, intentional interference with the
Hunters’ relationship with the Church and conspiracy.
Mrs. Fortune issued a statement last week on behalf of the leadership of
the Church in which she said: “We support the Hunters 100% and we do not
for one moment believe the outrageous allegations in the lawsuit filed
by Brenda Lamothe. We see Mrs. Lamothe’s lawsuit as nothing more than an
attempt to damage the pastor’s reputation in the community, and damage
his relationship with the Church.”
Last week the Stewards also released a copy of Mrs. Lamothe’s glowing
September 10, 2008 resignation letter praising Pastor Hunter and the
Church. The resignation letter is dated 10 months before the date Mrs.
Lamothe claims in her lawsuit that she was f
Source: Business Wire