MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The first ombudsman for clerical sexual abuse within the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is stepping down due to health reasons.

The Twin Cities archdiocese announced Tuesday that Thomas L. Johnson, a former Hennepin County attorney, is leaving the position, which will immediately be taken up by his wife, Victoria Newcome Johnson.

The position of the ombudsperson was created following the settlement agreement reached in 2015 between the archdiocese and the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office.

The ombudsperson acts as an independent resource for those with concerns of clergy sexual abuse within the community.

In a statement, Johnson wrote that he was honored to be the first ombudsman for the Twin Cities archdiocese.

“The opportunity to help victims on a personal level, often being the first person to whom they disclose their abuse, has been very powerful, far beyond what I anticipated,” he wrote.

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