SPRING (FOX 26) - This is Robert Pinard.
According to his lawsuit against Northwoods Educational Foundation, Father Daniel Massick and The Legion of Christ they approached him about buying some of the property surrounding Northwoods Catholic School.
There was a large debt, the lawsuit alleges, and the school was facing possible foreclosure.
“My client was approached to assist with a budget deficit at his daughter’s school and the church asked him if he would charitably get involved and buy some land,” said Pinard’s attorney Cris Feldman.
Pinard began working on the land to make it more marketable his attorney says but then he says something disturbing happened.
“Before they would sign the papers, the church shook him down and asked for a 94 thousand dollar donation,” said Feldman.
Here’s the purported text Father Daniel Massick sent to Pinard.
“I received the document about the 1 point 421 acres…..I will send it after I get the 94 thousand dollar donation. Once I get the money I’ll send it.”
“I think it’s a shame I think it’s a travesty I think it’s a terrible commentary on the state of affairs when a church tries to shake down it’s charitable benefactors in that way,” Feldman said.
Scott Marrs the attorney representing Northwoods Education Foundation and the priest did not return our calls seeking comment.
But in court documents they accuse Pinard of taking part in a land grab scheme.
“That’s really hard to believe that it’s some kind of random land grab when he’s out front on their property working on the land and no one told him to stop,” said Feldman.
The counter suit also accuses Pinard of conspiracy and fraud.