- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 26, 2001

Washington Bishop Jane Dixon has been found innocent of four ecclesiastical charges, but her opponents say they are considering a civil lawsuit against her.
Attorney Charles Nalls, who helped three clergy and 41 laity file two presentments, or charges, against the Episcopal bishop in July, has yet to file such a lawsuit. The bishop could be liable for interfering in a contract between a Prince George's County church and its vestry, or elected board, Mr. Nalls told independent journalist Robert Stowe England.
Bishop Dixon has maintained that the Rev. Samuel Edwards has no legal authority over Christ Church in Accokeek and its affiliated chapel, St. John's in nearby Pomonkey, Md. The vestry signed a contract in January with the priest, who moved to Accokeek in mid-March.
The vestry says it gave the bishop more than the required 30 days under canonical law to object to the priest before they hired him. Mr. Edwards was in the process of moving to Maryland when Bishop Dixon issued an objection on March 6.
The presentments were sent to a nine-member review committee chaired by Episcopal Bishop Charles L. Keyser, which dismissed the presentments on Sept. 5. This information was not given to the complainants until Sept. 13. On Sept. 14, attorneys for the bishop filed a motion to include the information in an existing lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt.
District Judge Peter J. Messitte has yet to hand down a judgment in that lawsuit, which the bishop filed against Mr. Edwards in June.

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