A Lake Worth-area couple are suing the Diocese of Palm Beach, claiming that priests harassed, humiliated and fired them because they reported their conduct, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday.Myles and Brenda Decker, who worked for Mary Immaculate Catholic Church in West Palm Beach for 10 years, also accuse the Revs. Joseph Kuczborski and Jimmy Hababag of detaining Brenda Decker against her wishes during a Feb. 25 meeting.
"These two priests held a 60-year-old mother and grandmother against her will and forced her to yell and scream for help ... before she was permitted to leave the office," attorney J. Michael Burman wrote in the suit, which was filed in Palm Beach County Court.They are seeking unspecified damages from the diocese, the parish and the two priests.
The Deckers claim their problems began in June 2001, shortly after Kuczborski was appointed interim administrator of Mary Immaculate. Hababag was assigned to the church at the same time, according to the suit.Brenda Decker, who has worked as a secretary and bookkeeper for the Catholic church in Colorado since 1973, differed with Kuczborski over how priests would be reimbursed for certain costs, Burman wrote in the suit. Kuczborski thought the continuing education reimbursement account was "the pastor's call" and -- as the temporary parish administrator -- he had all the rights of the pastor, Burman wrote. But Decker maintained the money should be used for educational expenses such as seminars and tuition.In one meeting, the two disagreed about what items were reimbursable and Decker got up to leave the room after Kuczborski became angry and his tone and demeanor turned aggressive, according to the suit.