by Chet Hardin
Remember Willie J. Sutton, Jr.?
We wrote about the polarizing pastor of historic St. John's Baptist Church back in January.
For three years, a significant clatch of church leaders, including longtime church trustees and members of this independent Baptist congregation, have been trying to fire Sutton. These members will tell you that the 47-year-old is nothing but a con man, a religious grifter from Chicago who won their confidence through charisma and lies, only to set upon this historic church to bleed the coffers dry. Twice these members have gathered and voted to terminate his employment.
In this week's issue, we provide an update on what has turned into a year-long legal battle between Sutton and these congregants. And here are the legal documents that go with that update:
The core of the update is that Denver-based attorney Edward Hopkins, has filed a new motion in the case. In it, the the plaintiffs argue that Sutton forged the signature of the church's secretary, Norma Jackson, in order to purchase a Lincoln Navigator in the church's name.
On December 3, 2012, Defendant Sutton admitted that he printed and signed Norma Jackson’s name on a document titled Corporate Resolution to Finance or Lease and formed contracts to finance and purchase a motor vehicle using SJBC’s identity
On December 11, 2012, Norma Jackson stated in a sworn affidavit that she never gave Defendant Sutton permission to write or sign her name on the document titled Corporate Resolution to Finance or Lease or to attribute to her the factual averments attributed to her in that document.
In Jackson's affidavit, she claims that she had no idea that Sutton had forged her name to purchase the $30,000 vehicle. She swears that when she found out, she balked, and Sutton attempted to silence her by threatening to spread the rumor she had had sex with one of the church's married members.
Sutton didn't respond to a request for comment.