Michigan pastor who resigned over assault charge reportedly gets $468,000 severance payout

A Michigan pastor was reportedly paid a $468,000 severance payout after he resigned from his church following an assault charge over accusations he shoved an elderly parishioner.

Western Michigan Bishop Robert Gepert paid the Rev. Jay Lawlor out of fund reserves at St. Luke Episcopal Church in Kalamazoo -- one of the oldest congregations in the area -- mlive.com reported Tuesday.

Lawlor, 42, resigned as pastor in March 2011 after he was accused of pushing 76-year-old church member Marcia Morrison, according to the website.  A jury later cleared him of the assault charge.

Lawlor reportedly served only 21 months at the church, and his hefty payout is equivalent to more than a three-year severance package.

Gepert took over the church last year after accusing it of mismanaging its finances, the website reported.

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