Vermont’s dean of crime reporting helps keep secret specifics of priest abuses


September 22, 2019

By Colin Meyn

Mike Donoghue is used to asking tough questions about touchy topics and prying into sensitive affairs. He did that for decades as a staff reporter at the Burlington Free Press, where he boasted a rolodex with the home phone numbers of cops, police chiefs and defense attorneys.

Since he left the Free Press in 2015, where he held the title of “First Amendment Reporter,” Donoghue has continued his career as a freelancer covering cops and courts for newspapers across the state. In his role as director of the Vermont Press Association, a post he has held for 32 years, Donoghue has championed the public’s right to know.

Recently, however, Donoghue found himself on the other end of the tape recorder at a news conference, sitting next to Bishop Christopher Coyne, as the head of Vermont’s Catholic Church answered questions about a report naming 40 priests credibly accused of sex crimes against children. A total of about 400 priests have worked in the state since 1950, the diocese says.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.