November 23, 2005

County attorney praises cooperation of diocese

East Valley Tribune

By Lawn Griffiths, Tribune
November 23, 2005
Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, a Catholic, didn’t flinch Monday when he compared the two past Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix bishops and their levels of cooperation in prosecuting priests.

The one with the Midas touch is Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, who arrived in December 2003 to replace Bishop Thomas J. O’Brien, who led the diocese for 21 years.

At a news conference about the 10-count indictment of one-time vicar-general and Mesa priest Monsignor Dale Fushek, Thomas praised the help his office had gotten under Olmsted’s leadership.

"It is striking contrast from the behavior of the prior bishop and his regime of stonewalling and avoiding responsibility for the crimes committed on his watch," Thomas said.

O’Brien was an adversary to former County Attorney Richard Romley, who threatened to charge O’Brien with obstruction of justice unless O’Brien was more forthcoming about decades of misconduct and the reassignment of priests accused of abuse from one parish to another.

Posted by kshaw at November 23, 2005 01:16 PM