Survivors Group Requests Allen's Deal with the Archdiocese Be Investigated
By Neil Relyea
WCPO [Cincinnati OH]
September 28, 2004
On Tuesday members of a survivors support group requested a court investigation of a prosecutor's agreement last year that ended a criminal probe of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
Members of the group have asked Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Thomas Crush to appoint a special prosecutor to re-examine the plea agreement.
The deal last November allowed the Archdiocese of Cincinnati to plead to misdemeanor offenses and establish a $3 million compensation fund for sex-abuse victims.
The support group for people who were sexually abused by Roman Catholic priests is questioning whether Hamilton County Prosecutor Michael Allen had a conflict of interest when he reached the agreement with the archdiocese.
The Survivors Network for those Abused (SNAP) by Priests says Allen used to work for -- and is now being represented by -- the Cincinnati law firm Dinsmore and Shohl, which also represents the archdiocese.
The group believes there is a conflict of interest because of Allen's personal and professional ties to the law firm.
Allen used to work for the same law firm and has now hired that firm to represent him.
A sexual harrassment lawsuit was filed against Allen a month ago. "We believe Mike Allen's role was clouded by his impartiality and we want it investigated to determine if the plea agreement reached was really in the public interest here," said Barbara Blaine, speaking for SNAP.
Spokesmen for the prosecutor, the law firm and the archdiocese say there is no conflict of interest.
SNAP is now waiting on a decision by Judge Crush.
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