iObserve (Diocese of Springfield MA]
May 28, 2021
Retired Superior Court Judge Daniel A. Ford has submitted his resignation as chairperson of the Independent Task Force on the Response to Sexual Abuse within the Diocese of Springfield to Springfield Bishop William D. Byrne, effective immediately. He did so to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest or bias based on a paid legal consultant job that he has undertaken.
As the task force approached the latter stages of its work, having completed its data and information collection process, Judge Ford informed his colleagues that he had been retained to provide advice in a civil matter, having nothing to do with the Diocese of Springfield, but involving Egan, Flanagan, and Cohen, PC, the Springfield law firm which also represents the diocese.
“While my work with the law firm did not constitute a conflict of interest as prescribed by legal standards, in discussing this matter with the task force members, it became clear to me that members of the group did have concerns. In recognition of that feedback and given the sensitivity of the subject matter being considered, even the appearance of a conflict had the potential of compromising the credibility of the task force’s work,” Judge Ford stated.
He accepted this advice and tendered his resignation.
Bishop Byrne thanked Judge Ford for his efforts and integrity: “I am most grateful to Judge Ford for having guided the task force through its information gathering work these past months — and his tireless advocacy of the task force in the news media.
“He has shown a great understanding for the need of the task force’s work to be above any reproach, stepping down from work that he had fully committed himself to since last June,” Bishop Byrne said.
The task force will discuss a transition of leadership at its June 2 meeting. print