This story appeared in The Kansas City Star on Dec. 8, 2012.
The newly elected president of the Missouri State Board of Education is denying allegations that he engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct with his former assistant at his Kansas City church.
The Rev. Stan Archie, co-founder and senior pastor of Christian Fellowship Baptist Church at 4509 Troost Ave., faces the accusations in a civil lawsuit filed in January by a woman identified only as Jane Doe LK.
The lawsuit, filed in Jackson County Circuit Court, alleges that the woman became Archie's assistant in 2000 and that they became involved in a sexual relationship that developed from counseling sessions he conducted with her after she revealed she had been sexually abused as a child. When she ended the relationship in 2007, the lawsuit alleges, Archie began a campaign of harassment and defamation against her.
The lawsuit, which seeks monetary damages, also names Archie's church as a defendant, saying it knew or should have known about his "dangerous and exploitative propensities" and failed to protect the woman.
Michael McCausland, Archie's attorney, said Friday that Archie and the church "adamantly deny the defamatory allegations."
"Both the church, as well as an independent organization, have investigated these claims and Reverend Archie has been completely cleared of these allegations, " McCausland said. "Now, Plaintiffs have filed suit regarding allegations of nearly ten years ago in an obvious attempt to extort money from Defendants."
He said Archie and the church "will vigorously defend this lawsuit."
Archie was appointed to the Missouri State Board of Education in 2006 and is currently vice president of the board. He was elected president Nov. 27, replacing Peter Herschend, founder of the corporation that owns Silver Dollar City in Branson. Herschend will be vice president. They are to begin their terms in January.
Archie also is board chairman of the Kansas City Leadership Foundation and is owner and principal consultant of Successful Edge Consultants. He is married and has three children.
Sarah Potter, spokeswoman of the Missouri Department of Elementary & Secondary Education, said Friday: "We're not commenting other than we're aware of the suit. He (Archie) did inform the commissioner and the state board about it."