A Seattle-area minister who had been charged with committing perjury
to prevent the conviction of his homosexual partner for assault has been
allowed by the
United Methodist Church to resume his pastoral duties.
As reported in WorldNetDaily, Rev. Dan Sailer of the
Haller Lake United Methodist Church in North Seattle was charged with perjury for giving allegedly false testimony in a 1997 case. Sailer claimed to be witness to a confrontation between two people in a Seattle-area Target parking lot, saying he did not know the alleged assailant, Kevin Mooney.
However, eyewitnesses — including Sailer’s two sons from a failed marriage — said the pastor had previously exchanged wedding vows with Mooney in a clandestine ceremony at the church. The two men had been living together, and Mooney later changed his legal name to Sailer.
Scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 1, Sailer entered an Alford plea on July 14, which, though not an admission of guilt, acknowledges there is enough evidence to convict. Under the plea agreement, prosecutors will recommend a one-year deferred sentence, one year of community supervision and 240 hours of community service, according to the
United Methodist News Service.
Sailer had been suspended from his pastoral responsibilities with pay since early May, but he was welcomed back by his congregation this past Sunday.
According to a local NBC affiliate, Sailer refused to speak on camera Sunday, but “did say there are two sides to this story, and that when his legal proceedings are over with, he will speak to the media.”
Seattle Methodist Bishop Elias Galvan was not available for comment Tuesday.