Diocese Names 5-Member Abuse Board In Pact With Prosecutor

Sep 21, 2017

 A Roman Catholic diocese has appointed a five-member board to oversee its handling of child-sex abuse allegations against clergy as part of an agreement with the federal prosecutor who oversees western Pennsylvania.

U.S. Attorney Soo Song announced the agreement in March with Altoona-Johnstown Bishop Mark Bartchak after allegations of a decades long abuse cover-up. Song's predecessor had threatened to sue the diocese under a federal racketeering statute if reforms weren't enacted.

The board includes James W. Brown, former chief of staff to Democratic Sen. Bob Casey and his father, former Gov. Bob Casey; Walter "Pete" Carson, a former state police investigator; Eileen Dombo, a professor and assistant dean at The Catholic University of America; Mary Herwig, an abuse victim turned advocate; and J. Alan Johnson, a former federal prosecutor from Pittsburgh.