January 29, 2005

Diocese accused of delay tactics

Journal Star

Saturday, January 29, 2005

of the Journal Star

PEORIA - A lawyer for a priest suing the Catholic Diocese of Peoria for defamation suggested at a Friday hearing that the diocese is using delay tactics to deny the priest his "day in court."
The diocese denied the suggestion.

Edward Bush stepped down from public ministry in 2002 after the diocese accused him of sexual misconduct involving two minors. He later sued the diocese, Bishop Daniel Jenky and vicar general Monsignor Steven Rohlfs for defamation.

Bush's attorney Carla Labunski on Friday argued in Peoria County Circuit Court that the diocese should be sanctioned for not meeting several deadlines for providing information. Diocesan lawyer Joe Feehan said the delays were caused by postal service problems and other factors and that his firm, Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen, had not purposely held off on supplying the required documents to Bush's lawyers.

Circuit Judge Joe Vespa turned down Bush's request for sanctions, which included attorney fees of $10,402, but told Feehan he found the delays "troublesome."

Posted by kshaw at January 29, 2005 07:03 AM