Inquiry of M'Ville Priest Goes On; No Charges Filed

By Patricia Breakey
June 18, 2009
Daily Star

No charges have been filed by the Delaware County Sheriff's Office in the investigation of a Margaretville priest, Undersheriff Douglas Vredenburgh said Wednesday.

The investigation is related to allegations of endangering the welfare of a child and other actions.

A search warrant was executed June 8 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, the church rectory, the parish center and a garage, Vredenburgh said previously.

The Rev. James McDevitt is the pastor of the Academy Street church.

"We may be bringing charges within a week," Vredenburgh said.

Vredenburgh said the warrant covered general items related to the alleged crime.

Vredenburgh declined to discuss the nature of the allegations or possible charges.

Albany Diocese Director of Communications Kenneth Goldfarb said the diocese is aware of the search warrant.

Goldfarb said McDevitt requested a voluntary leave, and his whereabouts were not known by Goldfarb.

However, he agreed to try to reach McDevitt to tell him that The Daily Star asked if he wanted to make a statement.

McDevitt did not respond Wednesday.

Goldfarb said the diocese is making arrangements to ensure church services continue. He said that there was a Mass performed last weekend, but a different priest would be at the church this weekend.

Goldfarb said there is a deacon who is acting as the Sacred Heart Catholic Church administrator.

Separately, McDevitt was arrested June 2 after a car accident and charged with driving while intoxicated.

Before being assigned to the Margaretville church, McDevitt served the Delhi Catholic Church, but a woman who answered the phone Thursday said she didn't know him and didn't know when he had served in Delhi.

The Rev. Matthew Frisoni, who serves at the Church of St. John the Baptist in Walton, said Wednesday that he has never met McDevitt.

Deputies are asking that anyone who may have information regarding alleged incidents call 746-2336.


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