ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP/WCCO) — St. Paul Police Chief Thomas Smith says the Twin Cities archdiocese is not fully cooperating with investigations into alleged clerical sex abuse.READ MORE: Man Hospitalized After Hit-And-Run In Brooklyn Park
At a news conference Tuesday, Smith said the archdiocese has declined to make clergy available to investigators.
“We’ve not been given access to any clergy or anybody except attorneys,” Smith said.
More than once Smith told a room full of reporters that requests to talk with people connected to the archdiocese had been denied. Those include a request to speak with former vicar general, Father Kevin McDonough.READ MORE: Aromatherapy Spray Linked To Deadly Tropical Disease; 1 Minnesotan Among Those Sickened In U.S.
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis released a statement after the press conference saying they “cannot speak for Father McDonough,” but that they look forward to cooperating with police.
Smith did not provide details about an allegation against St. Paul-Minneapolis Archbishop John Nienstedt. Nienstedt announced Tuesday that he’s stepping down from public ministry while police investigate an allegation that he improperly touched a boy during a public photo session four years ago, an accusation he strongly denies.
The archdiocese says it has asked for an opportunity to meet with St. Paul police, and that the meeting is set for Wednesday.MORE NEWS: Child Hurt In St. Paul Shooting; Investigation Underway
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