L.A. Unified Was Warned about Ex-priest before Hiring, Church Says

Los Angeles Times
February 4, 2013

[Joseph Pina - Los Angeles archdiocese]

The Los Angeles Archdiocese said Monday that it had warned the L.A. Unified School District of concerns it had with a former priest accused of molestation before the school system hired him in 2002 as a community outreach coordinator.

The former priest, Joseph Pina, admitted in internal church documents to a sexual relationship with a minor and to repeated “boundary issues” with women throughout his career in the clergy.

The archdiocese apparently never alerted law enforcement authorities about Pina. But a spokesman on Monday said the church did indicate its concerns to L.A. Unified in its response to a district questionnaire before the school system hired Pina.

“The Archdiocese received an employment questionnaire from the LAUSD in August 2001 regarding Joseph Pina,” Tod M. Tamberg, director of media relations, said in a statement. “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.' "








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