Aretakis Wants to Meet in Public

By Edward Muir
Capital News 9 [Albany NY]
May 28, 2004

Attorney John Aretakis talked about Mary Jo White and her investigation into sex abuse allegations against Bishop Howard Hubbard. Aretakis and White have been trading nasty letters about where and when they might meet. Aretakis insisted he will only meet White in public with the media present.

"They're just absolutely afraid to meet with me in public, and I don't know what's wrong with in public because if I do ask her something about the investigation, she would say I can't answer that because it's part of the investigation, and of course I would abide by that," Aretakis said.

White was hired by the Diocesan Sexual Misconduct Review Board to look into sexual abuse claims against Bishop Hubbard involving Thomas Zalay, who committed suicide in 1978, and Anthony Bonneau. She is paid $770 an hour by the diocese, and Aretakis said she therefore cannot conduct an impartial investigation. Zalay's brother, Andrew, agreed.

"The Bishop hired and retained Mary Jo White to clear Bishop Hubbard. Because that is her purpose and is why she was hired, she is not independent and has conflict of interest," Zalay said.

However, White maintained she is running a thorough, independent investigation and has interviewed more than 250 people. In a statement, she said Aretakis is holding up the investigation by not allowing his clients to be interviewed and by not turning over documents. An Albany Diocese spokesman stands by White's statement and believes she will find out the truth.

In the meantime, White's deadline for Aretakis to turn over documents has passed, and it appears the two may never meet.


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