Ethical Issues

There is a long history of unethical conduct on rector Bob Malm's part. This includes:

  • Turning a blind eye to bullying behavior by church staff towards parishioners.
  • Lying repeatedly about the employment status of church employees, saying, "Don't worry about it. They'll be retiring this year."
  • Allegedly taking leave over and above what is permitted under his letter of agreement. In each instance, church staff have covered by saying that Bob is, "out of town." This leave has been taken without vestry approval.
  • Violating church canons by personally appointing members of the vestry executive committee, versus allowing the vestry to elect them.
  • Personally engaging in shunning and bullying towards our family members. This includes yelling at parishioners in an effort to intimidate them, and instructing church clergy, staff, and volunteers to shun and exclude our family members. While some aspects of his edict of shunning have been overturned, others remain, and we have reason to believe that Bob Malm has tried on multiple instances to lie his way out of responsibility for his actions. 
    • Specific examples of shunning:
      • Instructing church staff and clergy that family members should be denied any role in the church.
      • Removing a family member, without authority, from volunteer positions in the church.
      • Tampering with memorial donations given by our family.
      • Refusing to accept prayer requests, including when a family member was seriously injured and in the hospital.
      • Denying access to the church building, despite the fact that our family members were members of the church.
      • Sound like Bishop Bruno? You bet, except that the church took (minimal) steps to address Bruno's bullying.
  • Trying to shade the truth about his misuse of memorial donations, by claiming that they were properly recorded. While that may be the case, they were not used according to the terms under which they were solicited. That means that the funds were used illegally.
  • Turning a blind eye to bullying by vestry officers, including Lisa Medley; and by altar guild members, including Alison Campbell; towards family members. Vestry officers and altar guild members serve at the pleasure of the rector. He therefore is responsible for their actions.
  • Creating an environment in which it is okay to disclose confidential giving. This happened when someone -- most likely former senior warden and "long-time parishioner" Lisa Medley -- disclosed giving details about our family members on The Wartburg Watch. While she had the details wrong, sharing any specifics about member giving without their consent is highly improper and unethical.
  • Setting a bad example for parishioners. For example, in front of parishioners, he referred to parishioner Jan Spence as an "asshole." While Jan was a marginally competent junior warden, there is no excuse for referring to her as an "asshole." Unless we're talking about her bullying behavior, in which case it should be the behavior that is discussed, versus her overall character and personality. And if Bob refers to Jan that way, it is a safe bet that he refers to other parishioners in a similar manner. 
  • Engaging in numerous "power plays," in which Bob improperly attempts to assert control and authority over others.
  • Engaging in smear campaigns against parishioners who question his conduct.
Our opinion: Grace Episcopal is one seriously messed up place.