Casner & Edwards

Casner & Edwards Completes Independent Investigation for St. Paul’s School


Casner & Edwards, LLP’s Special Investigations & Regulatory Compliance Group has completed its independent investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct at St. Paul’s School, a college-preparatory, co-educational boarding school in Concord, New Hampshire. The sixteen-month investigation uncovered a history of sexual misconduct among former faculty members and staff that spanned 61 years.

In May 2016, St. Paul’s engaged Casner attorneys Scott Harshbarger, Edward V. Colbert III and Carmen F. Francella III to conduct an independent investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct at the school. The investigation was in response to an April 2016 Boston Globe article about sexual abuse at independent secondary schools in New England, and to a report from another school that named a former faculty member who had once taught at St. Paul’s.

After a one-year investigation, St. Paul’s School released the “Final Report – Coded For Distribution” on May 22, 2017. A link to Rector Michael G. Hirschfeld and President of the Board of Trustees Archibald Cox, Jr.’s letter to the St. Paul’s School community can be found here: https://sps.myschoolapp.com/podium/push/default.aspx?s=36&i=176183&u=0. The report was the result of Casner’s investigation, which included 75 interviews with former students, former and current faculty members, staff members and members of the Board of Trustees. The report named 13 former faculty members as having committed acts of sexual misconduct against one or more former students.

Following the release of the Final Report, St. Paul’s School continued its engagement of Casner & Edwards to field any further reports of sexual misconduct. Between May 22 and September 25, 2017, the Special Investigations & Regulatory Compliance Group interviewed an additional 43 former students, and former or current faculty members. On November 1, 2017, Rector Hirschfeld and President Cox released the “Supplement to the Final Report – Coded For Distribution,” which named seven former faculty members and detailed acts of sexual misconduct that spanned 53 years from 1956 to 2009. A link to Rector Hirschfeld and President Cox’s letter to the St. Paul’s School community can be found here: https://sps.myschoolapp.com/podium/push/default.aspx?s=36&i=197139&u=0.

The professional manner in which the team conducted this investigation helped to foster healing for the victims and the larger St. Paul’s School community. The leadership at St. Paul’s has expressed time and time again how grateful they are for Casner’s work.

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