Defrocked Priest Loses Teaching License

Toledo Blade [Columbus OH]
December 13, 2006

Columbus - The State Board of Education yesterday revoked the decades-old teaching certificate a defrocked Cincinnati area priest was allowed to hold despite being convicted and jailed 15 years ago on child molestation charges.

George J. Cooley, 58, was officially removed from the priesthood in 1998 after spending 18 months in prison. But, until now, he continued to hold a certificate to teach in private and parochial schools.

Cooley opted not to fight the state action, voluntarily surrendering his certificate.

He was the seventh current or former priest to do so since they were brought to the state's attention by The Blade along with two other priests and a nonpriest teacher and coach. Investigations into the latter cases continue.

In all 10 cases, there had either been convictions, findings by their Roman Catholic dioceses that allegations against them were at least credible, or financial civil lawsuit settlements.

Despite Cooley's conviction, imprisonment, and discipline by the Vatican, no complaints were filed with the Department of Education to trigger license revocation proceedings.

Cooley is no longer teaching, but his credentials continued to appear on the department's Web site as valid to any potential employer or nonprofit group doing background checks.


State Revokes 5 Teaching Licenses 11/15/2006
5 disciplined by church to lose teacher licenses 11/10/2006
Oh, THAT double standard 10/14/2006
Plan gains to publicly identify accused 08/29/2006


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