St. Vincent Priest to Sue for Slander

Article excerpt

A suspended St. Vincent College professor and priest filed notice Thursday in Westmoreland County that he intends to sue a series of diocesan, college and church officials for slander, libel and defamation.

The Rev. Mark Gruber, 54, filed a writ of summons, which is formal notice of his intention to sue, in connection with last year's state police investigation of him for allegedly using a college computer to access child pornography.

Gruber, who is a Benedictine monk and a tenured professor of anthropology, named as defendants Archabbot Douglas Nowicki, head of the archabbey; Greensburg Bishop Lawrence Brandt; former college President H. James Towey; academic dean John Smetanka; Dr. Gary Quinlivan, dean of the McKenna Business School; public relations director Don Orlando and Eddie Dejthai, chief information officer.

State police found that the computer, located in a seminar room that could be accessed by others, was used to access websites in Russia and the Czech Republic where child pornography can be viewed. Photos and videos of nude males had been downloaded to the computer, but police said the subjects appeared to be older than 18. …