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Priest fired for contacting students will not face charges

By Christine Tolfree
Posted: 6/3/2005

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The Essex County District Attorney’s office has determined that charges will not be filed against Father Michael C. Randone for contacting students by email. Father Randone was fired from his position as part-time volunteer chaplain at Central Catholic High School in Lawrence and stepped down as pastor at Sacred Hearts Parish in Haverhill last March.

“We did investigate the e-mails, and no criminal charges resulted from that investigation,” said spokesman for the district attorney’s office Steve O’Connell on May 26.

Father Randone was fired from the Lawrence school for contacting students by e-mail and instant messaging on three occasions, which is discouraged by the school’s “boundaries policy,” according to a statement from school president Brother Richard Van Houten, FMS, issued in March.

In the March statement Brother Richard went on to write that Father Randone received a verbal warning in 2002 and a written warning in 2003 from then-school president Brother Thomas Long, FMS for off-campus contact with students.

“None of the boundary violations that the school was able to verify were sexual in nature. One instant message, signed with the same screen name that Father Randone used on other communications, did include some offensive content, but Father Randone has denied sending this message, and the school is unable to confirm its origin,” Brother Richard added.