May 23, 2006

Ex-attorney testifies in priest-abuse trial

The Arizona Republic

Jim Walsh
The Arizona Republic
May. 23, 2006 12:00 AM

Former Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley testified Monday that he didn't bring felony charges against suspended Monsignor Dale Fushek four years ago because there was no evidence that the Mesa priest had touched anyone sexually.

But Romley also testified that shortly before he left office Jan. 1, 2005, he authorized the investigation that led to the seven misdemeanor sex counts against Fushek. He is scheduled to stand trial June 2.

Fushek was placed on administrative leave from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix in December 2004, when he was accused in a civil suit of watching as another priest sexually abused a teenage boy. advertisement

Romley testified that in 2002, he relied on the advice of Deputy County Attorney Cindi Nannetti, the former head of the sex-crimes unit, in weighing charges against Fushek.

Posted by kshaw at May 23, 2006 07:49 AM