Allegations against Investigators

Capital News 9 [Albany NY]
March 12, 2004

More allegations in the Capital Region clergy sex abuse claims.

This time they are directed toward investigators. Attorney John Aretakis said they are acting inappropriately.

Mary Jo White is the independent investigator hired by the Albany Diocese to examine claims Bishop Howard Hubbard had homosexual relationships in the 1970s.

White said she will also look into the death of Father John Minkler, who was found dead at his home in Watervliet in February. Minkler had served as a chaplain for the VA Hospital in Albany.

Aretakis claimed investigators interviewed witnesses at inappropriate locations, such as Minkler's office in the VA Hospital, which is federal property. Aretakis also said White's investigative team won't allow him to be present when they question his clients.

Mary Jo White's office said one of its investigators did do an interview last week at the VA and the investigator was not aware of a requirement to seek prior permission. An apology was issued to the hospital administrators.

The VA hospital called the interviewing "inappropriate and regrets the interview took place," adding there is no connection between the medical center and the investigation.

A spokesman for the Albany Diocese said the diocese is not involved in this part of the investigation and will not comment.


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