April 21, 2006

Priest resigns as head of Spokane boys ranch amid abuse claims

Seattle Post-Intelligencer


SPOKANE, Wash. -- A priest has resigned as director of a Roman Catholic-run home for troubled boys that is being sued by former residents who claim he abused them during the 1970s and '80s.

The resignation of The Rev. Joseph Weitensteiner, 73, director of the Morning Star Boys' Ranch for all but 10 years of its 50-year history but, was announced in a statement issued Thursday. The statement said Dan Kuhlmann, managing director since Weitensteiner went on medical leave in July, will remain in that capacity.

A Morning Star spokesman said Weitensteiner, widely known as Father Joe, was not available to talk to reporters Thursday.

Dan Kuhlmann, who became acting director when Weitensteiner left on medical leave last July, will continue in that position pending selection of a regular replacement, the ranch said. Morning Star did not say when it will name Weitensteiner's replacement.

Posted by kshaw at April 21, 2006 08:51 AM