(Los Angeles, California) –Tuesday in Los Angeles, two clergy abuse survivors, a prominent Catholic whistleblower and the law firm of Jeff Anderson & Associates will:
• Siobahn O’Connor, former personal assistant to Diocese of Buffalo (New York) Bishop Richard Malone, will expose the truth and discuss the cover-up of clergy sexual abuse by Malone that caused her to reluctantly release secret Diocese documents to the public to disclose the truth. O’Connor will discuss how the Diocese of Buffalo and Bishop Malone handled its compensation program; • Release a summary of the diocesan compensation programs for clergy sexual abuse survivors announced by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the Dioceses of Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, Orange and Fresno. Similar survivor compensation programs in New York will be compared and contrasted; • Survivor Christopher Szuflita will discuss his abuse by a Diocese of Buffalo priest, the Diocese’s handling of his reports and his decision to reject a settlement offer under the Diocese’s compensation program; • Survivor Thomas Davis will discuss his abuse by a Diocese of Brooklyn priest and determination by the compensation program that his claim was unsubstantiated; • Compare the California diocesan compensation programs’ features with those that may be offered to survivors in statute of limitations legislation being considered by California lawmakers and discuss how the California bishops are doing the same thing that the New York bishops are doing.
WHEN: Tuesday, June 4, 2019 at 1:00 PM PT
WHERE: Intercontinental Century City – Chateau 8 2151 Avenue of the Stars Los Angeles, CA 90067
Notes: The press conference will be live-streamed via You Tube and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AndersonAdvocates/.
Contact: Jeff Anderson: 612.817.8665 (cell); 310.357.2425 (office) Mike Reck: 714.742.6593 (cell); 310.357.2425 (office) Mike Finnegan: 612.205.5531 (cell); 310.357.2425 (office)
Siobhan O’Connor was the personal assistant to Buffalo, New York Bishop Richard Malone from 2015 to 2018. She is deeply religious and once studied to become a Catholic nun.
In the course of her duties at the Buffalo Catholic Center, she came across memos and personnel files that showed that Bishop Malone had allowed priests accused of offenses like unwanted touching and statutory rape to remain in ministry. She even found a 300-page binder of pending litigations stuffed into the bishop’s supply closet.
She also came to realize that despite his public statements, Bishop Malone had no intention of revealing the full truth of the abuse situation in Buffalo. Malone and his attorneys had produced a carefully curated list of 42 accused priests – none of whom were still in ministry – for public scrutiny. O’Connor knew that there should have been several more priests on that list. She had seen drafts of the list that had passed back and forth between Malone and the lawyers. In fact, at least 118 priests of the Buffalo diocese had been accused of sexual misconduct.
In the summer of 2018 she made the difficult decision to make those secret documents public and speak out, speaking truth to the most powerful institution on Earth. In addition to sharing the documents with the media (beginning with WKBW-TV and including CNN, 60 Minutes/CBS, NBC and ABC), she has also provided them to the FBI and other law enforcement agencies. The Diocese of Buffalo is now under scrutiny by federal investigators.
When the Buffalo diocese announced a settlement program in March of 2018, Bishop Malone invited victims to come forward. But the victim hotline rang in an empty office, manned remotely by a part-time employee, and victims waited weeks for a return call. As Malone’s assistant O’Connor began speaking to those survivors and she listened as they shared painful stories of their childhood abuse. Today, Siobhan continues to speak the truth to the people of California.
Quotes re: O’Connor
Without Siobhan O’Connor, the Diocese of Buffalo may have pulled off one of the greatest cover-ups in the history of the Catholic Church. – WKBW-TV October 18, 2018
“I am a very ordinary person and I found myself in rather extraordinary circumstances and the way I look at it is, I was the right person in the right place at the right time, and God gave me the strength to do the right thing.” - Heroic Whistleblower Siobhan O’Connor