Erie County DA plans to look at diocesan files, but not just yet

Local News

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Erie County District Attorney John Flynn says he’s interested in taking Bishop Edward Scharfenberger up on his offer to have a look at diocesan files.

But, he has no plans to do so right now.

“I am going to take him up on his offer. It’s just a matter of when,” Flynn told News 4 this week.

The district attorney confirmed he has been in touch with Scharfenberger, the Bishop of Albany and Diocese of Buffalo’s temporary apostolic administrator.

“I want the district attorney to know that I am concerned about the integrity of the files and their content,” Scharfenberger said. “In the Diocese of Albany, one of the things I did was to invite the DA to take a look at the files and to supervise them. The conversations I would be having with (Flynn) would involve that.”

Advocates of victims and survivors of clergy sex abuse believe publicly releasing diocesan personnel files and sharing them with law enforcement could reveal the scope of any potential cover-up.

Flynn says he’s not ready to look at the files just yet because of other ongoing investigations.

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office is conducting an investigation and the (New York State) Attorney General is conducting an investigation,” he said.

Scharfenberger said all diocesan personnel files are already available to Attorney General Letitia James. A spokesperson in her office said they have no update on their investigation. Flynn said he’s in consultation with the AG’s office.

“When they give me the green light, I’ll take the bishop up on his offer,” the district attorney said.

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