New Allegations by Attorney

By Jessica Schneider
Capital News 9 [Albany NY]
March 22, 2004

Attorney John Aretakis said, "The Albany County politicians find it in their own self interests to protect priests whether they're pedophiles or predatory or not, and Bishop Hubbard."

Scathing remarks from attorney John Aretakis, who is most known for representing victims of clergy sex abuse. Now, he's coming out attacking Albany law enforcement, saying people like Police Commissioner John Nielsen and District Attorney Paul Clyne are defying law and order to protect Bishop Hubbard and other priests affiliated with the Albany Catholic Diocese.

Aretakis said, "Where I'm alleging there has been corruption is with the upper echelons of the police department and the Albany district attorney's office."

Aretakis points directly to an affidavit written and signed by the wife of a now-deceased Albany police sergeant. Ms. Judy Berben approached Aretakis when claims came up earlier this year concerning possible homosexual relationships by Bishop Howard Hubbard. In this statement, Berben states her husband discovered Hubbard in Washington Park soliciting male and children prostitutes. But when her husband and other police officers discovered him, she said Bishop Hubbard was not arrested because of his position in the clergy.

Speaking on behalf of Commissioner Nielsen, Detective James Miller said the claims by Aretakis are baseless and false. He would not speak on camera, saying he didn't want to even justify the remarks. He said as of now, there are no criminal investigations into Bishop Hubbard, and no reason Albany police would ever be involved, much less look to protect Hubbard.

District Attorney Paul Clyne also wouldn't speak on camera, saying there was nothing to respond to. He said Aretakis hasn't named any specific instances where Clyne averted the law to protect Hubbard, so he said the claims by Aretakis are baseless.

As for the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese, spokesman Father Kenneth Doyle issued this statement saying, "John Aretakis has no credibility. He lost every court case he brought against the Albany Diocese because he had no facts to back his false claims. He has been threatened with contempt of court. He is the subject currently of multiple ethics investigations. This is not a man whose public statements deserve serious consideration."

Detective Miller said he and Commissioner Nielsen will look into the claims and respond further in the coming days.


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