St. Thomas Board of Trustees Chair Retires, Vice Chair Resigns

By Lindsey Labelle
The Fox 9
October 20, 2013

[with video]

ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

The University of St. Thomas sent out a bulletin on Saturday announcing the former Archbishop Harry Flynn has retired from his position as chair of the Board of Trustees, and vice chair Father Kevin McDonough has voluntarily resigned.

McDonough is the former Vicar General of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and used to report to former Archbishop Flynn.

McDonough is also head pastor at a couple of metro-area congregations including St. Peter Claver Catholic Church in St. Paul.

As the former Vicar General, McDonough led the investigations into inappropriate sexual conduct of priests that included allegations made against Rev. Michael Keating, who is now accused of sexually abusing a teenage girl.

Earlier this week, a 28-year old woman filed a lawsuit against Keating for his behavior when she was 13 years old, about 15 years ago. Keating is a professor at St. Thomas and has since taken a leave of absence from the school.

Several internal church investigative documents detailing the case and his behavior some about 6 or 7 years ago were signed by McDonough and sent to then-Archbishop Flynn and leaked to the public in recent days.

The alleged victim's attorney Jeff Anderson wants to know if St. Thomas University was ever told about the accusations and says he wouldn't be surprised to see more fallout in this seemingly widening scandal.

"The only way the full truth about practices can be revealed is thru search warrants, subpoenas, law enforcement investigations and vigorous litigation. I think it's going to require all those things," Anderson said.

However, the investigations wouldn't stop there.

"Then there may be not only resignations. There probably should be serious investigations and indictments of top officials for obstruction of justice," Anderson said.

In terms of the retirement of former Archbishop Flynn, the school isn't saying what motivated his decision to step aside. Flynn had served as chair of the St. Thomas Board of Trustees since 1995.


During its regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, Oct. 17, the University of St. Thomas Board of Trustees accepted the retirement of the Most Reverend Harry Flynn as chair and member of the board, effective at the end of the day. Flynn served as board chair since 1995.

The board elected Michael Dougherty as interim chair. Dougherty, a St. Thomas trustee since 2003, also is chair of the board's Executive Committee. He is chairman and chief executive officer of Dougherty Financial Group LLC in Minneapolis.

"On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I want to thank Archbishop Flynn for his many years of dedicated service to the board and to the university," Dougherty said.

As previously announced, Father Kevin McDonough resigned Oct. 4 as vice chair and member of the board. He had been a member since 1991. He also has resigned from the advisory boards for the School of Law and the Center for Catholic Studies at St. Thomas.

The board elected John M. Morrison, a St. Thomas trustee since 1996, as interim vice chair. He is chairman of Central Bank Inc.

The St. Thomas board expects to elect a permanent chair and vice chair at its Feb. 13 meeting.

St. Thomas has retained outside counsel to lead an independent investigation of matters related to clergy sexual abuse allegations that impact the university.

The board is appointing a special committee to oversee the investigation and to review findings and recommendations. The committee also will confirm that the university has appropriate policies and procedures in place and that it takes appropriate follow-up action. The committee will be chaired by Timothy P. Flynn, a St. Thomas trustee since 2006 and also vice chair of the board's Executive Committee. Flynn is the retired chairman and CEO of KPMG.


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