Miltenberg: “Trinity Church Fires Conductor After Misconduct Accusation,” The New York Times


Trinity Wall Street, the powerful New York church, said on Monday that it had fired its music director after receiving an allegation of sexual misconduct against him. On Saturday, Trinity said it had placed Julian Wachner, its acclaimed director of music and the arts, on leave as it investigated the allegation, which stemmed from a 2014 incident. But in a statement on Monday, the church’s rector, the Rev. Phillip A. Jackson, said that the church had fired Mr. Wachner. “The investigation is ongoing, and thus the investigator has not yet made any determination about the veracity of the 2014 allegations,” the church’s statement said. “Still, we have concluded based on recent information that Julian has otherwise conducted himself in a manner that is inconsistent with our expectations of anyone who occupies a leadership position. For this reason, Trinity has decided to end Julian’s employment with Trinity as of today.” The allegation was made by a former Juilliard School employee, Mary Poole. Ms. Poole said in an interview with The New York Times that during a music festival in Aiken, S.C., in 2014, Mr. Wachner pushed her against a wall, groped her and kissed her, and that he ignored her demands that he stop. Mr. Wachner denies the accusations. His lawyer, Andrew T. Miltenberg, said in an email on Monday: “We are exceptionally disappointed that Trinity has acted prior to completing a thorough investigation. Depriving Mr. Wachner of the benefit of the full narrative is the antithesis of due process and allows distortions to triumph over the truth.” Two people interviewed by The Times — a friend of Ms. Poole’s and a former colleague — recalled hearing Ms. Poole describe the details of the encounter with Mr. Wachner at the time. Ms. Poole said she did not report the incident to the police since she was in another state and pressed for time in the middle of a tour. She did report the incident to Juilliard, which said on Saturday that it was aware of “unacceptable conduct” by Mr. Wachner in 2014 and that it had not hired him again. Mr. Miltenberg, Mr. Wachner’s lawyer, said on Monday that “Juilliard’s statement, which Mr. Wachner saw for the first time in The New York Times, is flawed and erroneous.” He added that “Mr. Wachner continues to dispute the nearly decade-old, misleading and untrue allegations made against him.”

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