Some big news from The Macomb Daily: 

A Macomb County Sheriff’s detective’s claim that a suspended Detroit Catholic priest sexually assaulted an altar boy when he served in Mount Clemens decades ago has been determined to be false and defamatory, according to a court-advisory panel.

A three-person case evaluation panel Friday recommended that $125,000 be awarded to the Rev. Eduard Perrone for Detective Sgt. Nancy LePage’s false report to the Archdiocese of Detroit that Perrone sodomized the boy between 1978 and 1981 while associate pastor for St. Peter Parish in Mount Clemens.

The Archdiocese in July 2019 suspended Perrone with pay from his duties at Assumption Grotto Church on Gratiot Avenue in Detroit, where he served for 25 years. The organization issued a news release announcing the suspension.

“This is the beginning of vindication for Fr. Perrone,” said Perrone’s attorney Chris Kolomjec. “It does vindicate him but does not restore him or bring him justice.”

Perrone sued LePage last August in Wayne County Circuit Court in Detroit, and in January a group of Assumption Grotto parishioners in the same court sued the Archdiocese of Detroit and Monsignor Michael Bugarin of the Archdiocese, saying Perrone was wrongly accused and suspended.

The award recommendation can be accepted or rejected by both sides. Or the case could be settled for a difference amount, or go to trial.

The lawsuit originally sought $3 million.

Kolomjec said the unanimous decision following oral arguments conducted Friday by Kathleen Klaus for Perrone and chief Macomb County attorney John Schapka for LePage bode well for a positive settlement or award for his client.

“This is a wake-up call for the county and Archdiocese of Detroit,” Kolomjec said. “You had an independent, neutral body reviewing all of the evidence.”

Perrone, 72, wants to return to his post at Assumption Grotto, he said.

Kolomjec said the suspension was based on “flimsy allegations.”

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