NEW YORK – The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York said Thursday that he has hired a former federal judge to review the procedures and the protocols for the handling of allegations of sexual abuse.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan announced the appointment of Barbara Jones, he says, was the order of the review because the Catholics in New York have demanded “accountability”, “transparency” and “actions” of the leadership of the church.
Jones, 71, said the archdiocese has already had a “robust infrastructure” to deal with the problem, but they will evaluate the effectiveness, identify any deficiencies, and report its findings directly to the cardinal.
The appointment comes after New York attorney general announced that she was working on a comprehensive investigation of how the church and its leaders handled abuse accusations across the state.
Two years ago, the archdiocese announced a compensation fund for victims of clergy sexual abuse willing to drop lawsuits. The already paid about $60 million so far.
The Manhattan-based archdiocese is the country’s second-largest after Los Angeles.
Jones, who left the Manhattan federal bench in 2013, finished her work some weeks ago as a court-appointed special master to identify cases that are subject to the attorney-client privilege of more than 4 million articles seized in raids on the Republican President, Donald Trump’s ex-personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.
Jones was an assistant district attorney of the V. S. in Manhattan, and chief assistant to former Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau before she was appointed to the bench in 1995 by President Bill Clinton. As a federal prosecutor, she served as head of the Organized Crime Strike Force Unit.
After leaving the bank, she joined the law firm Bracewell, where she specialized in white collar defense and internal investigations.
She has served repeatedly in roles calling for an external independent monitor or an arbitrator.
In 2014, she said former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice could play football again after the conclusion of that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had “abuse of power” in suspending Rice indefinitely after the video came out of him hitting his wife in an elevator.
She has also served on a panel from conducting a full review of the New York City Police Department’s discipline policy and was appointed as an independent external reviewer to the University of Michigan to decide on student disciplinary actions in the framework of the school policy and procedures on student sexual misconduct.