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Whitmer, AG ask Legislature to OK $2 million to investigate Catholic clergy

A Catholic priest
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The attorney general's office is conducting an investigation into potential sexual abuse by Catholic priests since 1950.

Michigan’s attorney general wants to use the state’s share of a national bank fraud settlement to investigate sexual abuse allegations against Catholic priests.

State Attorney General Dana Nessel says this would be the best use of the money collected from Wells Fargo for misleading and improperly charging fees to customers.

Kelly Rossman-McKinney is Nessel’s communications director.

“Clearly, the investigation into clergy abuse is one of the most important things that we’re working on here,” she says.

Rossman-McKinney says the investigation is statewide and requires a lot of time and resources.

“We have millions of pages of documents to review. We have a number of victims to interview, so there’s quite a bit of work to be done on the investigative side,” she says.

Rossman-McKinney says investigators are already sorting through millions of documents that have been subpoenaed.

“It is a sweeping investigation," she says. "It requires a great deal of time and attention. It’s very labor intensive. And it is a critical piece of work of the attorney general’s office.”

Michigan’s share of a national settlement with Wells Fargo is more than $5 million. Nessel and Governor Gretchen Whitmer are asking the Legislature to approve a little more than $2 million to investigate Catholic clergy. 

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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