Contract Law

2 Investigators Sue Church of Scientology Over Halt of $32K Monthly Payments

Two former California police officers say they spent almost 25 years working as private investigators for the Church of Scientology, getting paid $32,000 per month most of that time for their time and expenses only to have the checks suddenly stop arriving in the mail over the summer for unknown reasons.

So Paul Marrick and Greg Arnold filed suit against the international religious group, contending that the sudden shut-off of the money spigot violated their along-ago verbal contract with the church and its leader, David Miscavige, who is also named as a defendant, the Tampa Bay Times reported in a lengthy Sunday article.

The church acknowledges that the two men worked for their organization as independent contractors, but disagrees with much of their account of what they did. Spokeswoman Karin Pouw calls their suit “nothing more than a transparent shakedown effort” and says their description of work they did is “inaccurate,” but doesn’t provide details, the newspaper reported.

The two PIs never saw Miscavige face-to-face but say they were told he was in charge of their operation. Pouw says the two were supervised by church lawyers and Miscavige was not involved, adding, “Any allegations to the contrary are malicious fabrications and compete balderdash.”

Arnold and Marrick say they spent more than 20 years following Patrick D. Broeker, a church leader who they gradually realized was a rival to Miscavige. As well as other details of their investigation, the newspaper reported the private investigators paid a garbage hauler to provide discreet access to Broeker’s trash.

The two PIs are represented by attorney Ray Jeffrey in the Texas suit. At last report, after the church learned that they had talked to the Times, settlement talks were in progress.

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