Truth and Justice Award
to NH Attorneys General and Their Staffs
New Hampshire Voice of the Faithful (VOTF) and Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) honored current and former New Hampshire attorneys general and their staffs for bringing about the unprecedented release of 9,000 pages of secret Catholic Church records detailing clergy sex crimes.
Six years ago, in the wake of horrific disclosures about sexual abuse and cover ups in Boston, New Hampshire’s attorney general launched a grand jury investigation into the Manchester diocese. Pursuant to a court order, top church officials turned over thousands of pages of long-secret records, which provided evidence of child endangerment that the Diocese admitted was likely to result in a conviction. In lieu of indictment, an agreement was negotiated that led, among other things, to the document release by the Attorney General’s office.
The files are available online at the department of justice website (www.doj.nh.gov/publications/reports.html) and the Manchester archives section of www.BishopAccountability.org
The two groups presented ‘Truth and Justice Awards’ to members of the Attorney General’s Office who worked on the diocesan case. Among the recipients are: NH Attorney General Kelly A. Ayotte, Former NH Attorney General Peter W. Heed, Senior Assistant Attorney General N. William Delker, Former Assistant Attorney General James D. Rosenberg, Associate Attorney General M. Kristin Spath, Assistant Attorney General Karen E. Huntress, Former Associate Attorney General Ann F. Larney, and Chief Investigator Paul E. Brodeur.
“As we celebrate the fifth anniversary of this ground breaking disclosure, it is only appropriate to honor those who brought the truth to light, without which there can be no justice” said David Clohessy, national director of SNAP. “VOTF and SNAP are pleased to join together in recognizing historic achievements in the rule of law.”
Carolyn Disco, New Hampshire VOTF Survivor Support Chairman, noted the state’s highest law enforcement officials successfully negotiated first amendment objections, convened investigators for a comprehensive review of the record, researched statutes and case law for an indictment, and firmly held the Diocese accountable for the failure to protect children. “Their decision to act, and act forcefully, was a brave step with important consequences,” she said.
Other attorneys general, district attorneys and grand juries in various states have done similar investigations and released reports – but New Hampshire was the first. Often sought out for advice and expertise in this area of the law, the honorees performed an invaluable public service. Children are safer because of their contributions.
From left: N. William Delker, Senior Assistant Attorney General; James D. Rosenberg, former Assistant Attorney General; Kelly A. Ayotte, NH Attorney General; Peter W. Heed, former NH Attorney General; Ann F. Larney, former Associate Attorney General; M. Kristin Spath, Associate Attorney General; Paul E. Brodeur, Chief Investigator
Not shown: Karen E. Huntress, Assistant Attorney General
Credit: Photography by Raithe Photography