After criticism of priest sex abuse investigation, AG Hawley tweets ‘this is false’

Knasas City Star

November 27, 2018

By Judy L. Thomas

Angered by a column in a Missouri newspaper that said he wasn’t doing enough to investigate clergy sex abuse in the Roman Catholic Church, Attorney General Josh Hawley on Tuesday took to social media.

“We are seeking court orders to acquire information needed from the dioceses to ensure a full, thorough, and independent investigation,” Hawley said in a tweet just before noon.

And two hours later: “We are prepared to use every tool at our disposal to ensure a thorough and independent investigation to find the facts and the truth.”

The tweets were in response to an op-ed piece published Monday in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. It was written by Kansas City attorney Rebecca Randles, who has represented hundreds of clergy sex abuse victims, and David Clohessy, former director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

“One of us is an advocate who has, over the past 30 years, spoken with more clergy sex abuse victims than perhaps anyone anywhere,” they wrote. “The other is an attorney who has, over the past 25 years, represented more than 300 people assaulted by Catholic priests, nuns, brothers and seminarians and has talked to roughly 300 more.

“But we’ve essentially gotten silence from the attorney general’s office.”

They said St. Louis attorney Ken Chackes, who has represented more than 100 priest sex abuse victims, also had not heard from Hawley.

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