July 30, 2005

Ex-diocese leader accused of sex abuse

Des Moines Register

July 30, 2005
A former top administrator for the Davenport Catholic Diocese has been accused of child sex abuse in a lawsuit filed last week.

The diocese on Friday acknowledged that Scott County resident D. Michl Uhde has sued, alleging that beginning in 1957, Monsignor Thomas Feeney sexually abused him while they were on bird-watching outings at Credit Island Park in Davenport.

Feeney died in 1981. He was vicar general, the diocese's top administrator, from 1968 to 1981, according to Craig Levien, the Davenport lawyer who filed the lawsuit.

In a statement, Bishop William Franklin said the diocese had hoped that mediation, rather than expensive, time-consuming lawsuits would be the "best and fairest way to resolve these cases."

Levien, who in October negotiated a $9 million settlement for 37 clients against the diocese, said his client had little choice but to sue.

Posted by kshaw at July 30, 2005 08:59 AM