Saints emails, lawsuits could be buried in church bankruptcy

first_img“Clearly this is a focused effort to conceal the documents,” he said.Manley said attempts to keep the lawsuits alive are longshots because bankruptcy courts generally don’t want debtors to continue with legal action that may force them to spend more money.But Mike Finnegan, an attorney with Minnesota-based Jeff Anderson & Associates, said the bankruptcy filing pushes the fight to air the church records into the bankruptcy court, where the documents could be released after a lengthy process, possibly as a condition of a bankruptcy settlement.“There are so many people involved, and this is so important for the public and survivors, that the fight will continue,” he said. “I believe those documents will see the light of day, but it will be delayed by the bankruptcy process.”New Orleans’ bankruptcy reflects a strategy the church has pursued in other jurisdictions to simply “come up with a settlement and move on,” said Kevin T. Stocker, an attorney who sued the church in Buffalo, New York, before it recently declared bankruptcy. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditA bankruptcy filing by New Orleans’ Roman Catholic archdiocese freezes sexual abuse lawsuits and could help bury the details of alleged coverups of predator priests and thousands of internal emails documenting a behind-the-scenes alliance with the New Orleans Saints. Attorneys for those suing the church attacked last week’s Chapter 11 filing as a veiled attempt to keep church records secret, scrap a long-awaited legal deposition by Archbishop Gregory Aymond and deny victims a public reckoning that had been years in the making.“Those victims were on the path to the truth,” attorney Soren Gisleson wrote in court papers. “The rape of children is a thief that keeps on stealing.” In previous court filings, they drew a direct parallel to the successful effort by The Boston Globe nearly 20 years ago to overturn a confidentiality order protecting documents produced during lawsuits filed by victims of Geoghan.That led to the resignation of the late Cardinal Bernard F. Law, who covered up for Geoghan’s abuses with the knowledge of five auxiliary bishops, including Alfred C. Hughes, who preceded Aymond as archbishop of New Orleans.“The public, media and law enforcement have no idea of the depth of Hecker’s disgusting crimes against children or the Archdiocese’s equally disgusting suppression of those crimes,” the filing alleges.But whether any of the dozens of clergy abuse lawsuits against the archdiocese will see the light of day is an open question.John C. Manly, an attorney who has represented clergy abuse victims through more than a dozen bankruptcy filings, said “it’s highly unlikely” the men suing the archdiocese will succeed in airing internal church records. May 5, 2020 Associated Press The New Orleans archdiocese is the latest of more than 20 dioceses nationwide to declare bankruptcy, an action Aymond attributed to a “resurgence of the clergy abuse crisis” and liabilities of $100 million to $500 million deepened by the coronavirus pandemic. He said the filing would allow victims to be compensated directly through a “court-supervised process.”“There is not one single event or issue that prompted this filing,” the archbishop said in a video to parishioners. Attorneys for the men suing the church have already accused the archdiocese of understating the value of its total assets at also between $100 and $500 million. They cited an insurance declaration covering $2.1 billion in damages, adding the archdiocese “makes no attempt to explain this discrepancy” in court filings. An archdiocese spokeswoman declined to comment Tuesday. Aymond had been scheduled to give a deposition later this month in the Hecker case. Lawyers for Hecker’s alleged victims say they uncovered hundreds of incriminating records in discovery and still want a judge to make them public regardless of the bankruptcy. Saints emails, lawsuits could be buried in church bankruptcy “They don’t want this story out,” Stocker said. “It’s so ugly that they knew what was going on. They’re trying to control their brand and image.” ____Mustian and Rezendes reported from New York.,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 Among the most explosive legal fights now in disarray is a lawsuit alleging Aymond and his three predecessors systematically concealed the crimes of the Rev. Lawrence Hecker, an 88-year-old priest removed from active ministry in 2002 after accusations that he abused “countless children.”A recent court motion drew direct parallels between the church’s handling of Hecker and John Geoghan, a serial pedophile who molested scores of children during his 30-year career as a Massachusetts clergyman.The bankruptcy also freezes a court battle over a cache of confidential emails describing the behind-the-scenes public relations work New Orleans Saints executives did for the archdiocese in 2018 and 2019 to contain fallout from clergy abuse scandals. While the Saints say they only assisted in messaging, attorneys for the men suing the church allege Saints officials joined in the church’s “pattern and practice of concealing its crimes.” The attorneys contend that included taking an active role in helping to shape the archdiocese’s list of 57 credibly accused clergy, a roster an Associated Press analysis found was undercounted by at least 20 names.AP, which has sought the release of the emails as a matter of public interest, said in court papers last week that it remains unclear why secrecy is warranted for “two high-profile and quasi-public institutions like the Saints and the Archdiocese.”last_img read more

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After unfortunate ending for North Dakota’s women’s hockey program, future of female sports remains unknown

first_imgThis caused an uproar in the women’s hockey world, and many people began to wonder what kind of school could just simply get rid of a program without bothering to tell them they were on the chopping block. Many asked for North Dakota to reconsider, or to give the team a year to make up the deficit, as they had allowed the men’s golf team to do the year prior.North Dakota’s president Mark Kennedy denied many of these requests, stating that the matter was over and that this is what the university needed to do. Many people, including former women’s hockey players, began to show their disappointment in their alma mater, with the hashtag #NotUNDProud.#NotUNDProud pic.twitter.com/8LZtNW0McG— Jocelyne Lamoureux-D (@JocelyneUSA17) April 12, 2017The appeal to get the women’s hockey program back at UND soon began, with the hashtag #NeverEndtheFight uniting people across both the U.S. and Canada in their mission to bring back the program. Many thought that the outcry from the public would be enough to make the university reconsider, but in the end, North Dakota held firm in their decision with the team.By the time that May rolled around, many of the players began to receive offers to attend other universities, many of which were in the WCHA. The team was fractured, and many of its players still feel pain when they think of the fate of their former team.Some players were not as lucky as others, as many colleges and universities already had their roster spots filled for the 2017-2018 season. While North Dakota still provided scholarships for the athletes of the recently canceled program, many of them were forced to quit a sport that they loved and left without any means of continuing at UND.Wisconsin was only able to acquire one person from the North Dakota program, and Campbell is now the starting goaltender here at the University of Wisconsin. Looking back at the unfortunate end of the women’s hockey program at UND, Campbell feels as though this loss was a major loss for the entirety of women’s hockey.Three former UW women’s hockey players honored in ESPN’s annual body issueIn this year’s Body Issue, ESPN featured three former University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team members in recognizing their fight Read…“It hurts women’s hockey, it hurt’s the game,” said Campbell. “But a program like [North Dakota] can get cut. It became a fight for the future of women’s hockey. We tried the best we could to raise awareness because we didn’t want this to happen to any other program in the NCAA.”This unfortunate event shows just how fragile the world of women’s sports can be. North Dakota is not the only school that has canceled a female sport due to budget concerns, nor will they be the last.Wisconsin is currently home to 12 different women’s sports, and it is sad to think that there might come a day when we lose one of them. Wisconsin has a strong fan base that provides for many of the women’s sports that they have, but the same cannot be said for other institutions.What happened at North Dakota is a tragedy, and calls to question how secure the world of women’s sports really is. These kinds of events cause many to lose interests in women’s sports and are extremely discouraging to any female athletes out there who want to continue playing their sport at the next level.Supporting a women’s sports team at this time is crucial, and doing anything is better than doing nothing. North Dakota should serve as a turning point in the history of women’s athletics, not as a catalyst. No one expected the University of North Dakota to cancel their women’s hockey program at the end of the 2017 season, not even the players of the North Dakota team.On March 30, 2017, UND announced that after financial aid cuts from the state government they would be forced to cancel three of their athletic programs. Out of those three programs, two of them were women’s sports: hockey and swimming.What makes this series of cuts even more unfortunate was the fact that North Dakota had not informed teams that budget cuts would be made to their athletic programs. Many thought that after budget cuts from the previous year, which would see the loss of the North Dakota baseball team, that finances at the university were finally stable.Women’s hockey: While classmates prepare for exams, Pankowksi, Clark chasing Olympic goldAnyone who has taken an economics class knows that every choice you make always has an opportunity cost — losing Read…So you can imagine the shock on the face of Kristen Campbell and her teammates when they found out their head coach was going to meet with school officials to discuss the future of their program. Campbell and her team already knew that this was not a good sign, since this was the exact same dialogue that happened between the university and the baseball team one year prior.“Our coach came into the locker room and said that they had a meeting at three,” Campbell said, “which was never a good sign. When baseball got cut the year before, they got a text saying that they had to go to a meeting.”Campbell and her teammates knew something was wrong when they saw their senior class watching over them at practice. Since this was a spring practice for the team, seniors were not required to attend practice, but the senior class of North Dakota came to watch their teammates play one more time.A few of the seniors had found out about the demise of their program from Twitter, where stories and rumors were already beginning to spread in the area. While all of these stories were not technically confirmed yet, the senior class had a pretty good idea of what was about to happen to their team.Campbell recalled the strange events of that day, and remembers that the team knew something was off. Still, the team practiced on, not knowing that this would be their final practice together.A heartbreaking photo came out a few hours later, with North Dakota’s Gracen Hirschy showing the team practicing for the 2017-2018 season that they were looking forward to.last_img read more

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