L.A. Archdiocese Says It Warned Lausd Not to Hire Former Priest

By Jennifer London
February 4, 2013

UPDATE from Karen Foshay, 2:30 p.m.:

L.A. Archdiocese spokesperson Tod Tamberg tells "Socal Connected" the diocese has sent notices to the LAUSD regarding people accused of misconduct who either have current or former ties to LAUSD, and have offered to share information over the phone. We have not received follow up to those letters."

Tamberg couldn't say how many letters have been sent and but did say they the letters involved persons the diocese believed would be of interest to LAUSD.

The Los Angeles Archdiocese tells "SoCal Connected" it was made aware, in 2001, that defrocked priest, Joseph Pina had applied for a job with the Los Angeles Unified School district after resigning in disgrace from the church in 1998. Recently released church documents reveal Pina began having sexual relations with a 16 year-old girl while he was still an active clergyman. The documents detail his admission that he became attracted to the young girl after seeing her dressed as Snow White when she was in the eighth grade.

Over the weekend the LAUSD told "SoCal Connected," in an email, they did not have information of any communication between the Church and the school district. But this morning, Tod Tamberg, Director of Media Relations for the LA Archdiocese wrote in an email to "SoCal Connected" they had communicated with the LAUSD regarding Pina. "The Archdiocese received an employment questionnaire from the LAUSD in August 2001 regarding Joseph Pina. In response to the question: 'Should the Los Angeles Unified School District consider anything else regarding this candidate's employment suitability?' the Archdiocese checked the box, 'yes,' adding that we would 'not recommend him for a position in the schools.' In response to the next question on the form, 'Would you hire this person again?' the Archdiocese checked the box 'no.'"

Tamberg goes on to write "there is no indication in our files of any further contact from LAUSD regarding Mr. Pina once the form was returned to the LAUSD."

According to Waldman Pina began working at the district in January 2002, after clearing a Department of Justice fingerprint and background check. The former priest was hired as a Community Outreach Organizer, who coordinated and attended dozens of community events throughout the city. LAUSD says he is no longer employed with the district.

Pina resigned from the Church after being admitted to at least two in-patient treatments centers for engaging in inappropriate sexual conduct. There were also a other allegations of "boundary issues" with Pina and other minors.

[LAUSD Employment Questionnaire Regarding Joseph Pina]








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