November 11, 2008 in City

O’Donnell settles sex cases, avoids trial

 

The former Catholic priest involved in many of the child sex abuse allegations in Spokane has agreed to pay his victims $5 million to avoid a trial that was scheduled this week.

The catch is that Patrick O’Donnell doesn’t have the money and his victims may never be paid.

But a lawyer for the two dozen victims says they want to put the issue behind them, and getting O’Donnell to confess to his actions will help that occur.

A hearing is set for Wednesday.

Lawsuits filed by O’Donnell’s victims were a major factor in the recent bankruptcy of the Spokane Catholic Diocese.

O’Donnell’s victims collected millions of dollars from the diocese through the bankruptcy case. But they never had the satisfaction of putting O’Donnell on the witness stand in front of a jury.

Nor did they have an opportunity to put Bishop William Skylstad on the stand to answer questions under oath.

Victims accused the diocese of covering up decades of sex abuse by clergy. The diocese denies the allegations and has acknowledged that 11 of its priests had been credibly accused of abuse, along with 12 Jesuits in Eastern Washington and four clergy with religious orders including the Fransicans, Benedictines and Marianists.

Associated Press and staff reports

Services affected by Veterans Day

The following offices and services will be affected by the Veterans Day holiday today.

•Garbage and recycling pickup will not be affected.

•Most government offices will be closed, including Spokane and Kootenai counties, federal and state agencies, the city of Spokane Valley and the city of Coeur d’Alene. The city of Spokane will be open.

•The Spokane Public Library will be open; the Spokane county system will be closed, as will the Coeur d’Alene Public Library and the Kootenai-Shoshone library system.

•Post offices will be closed, with express mail delivery services only.

•State liquor stores will be open.

•Most banks will be closed.

•Parking at metered spaces in Spokane will be free.

From staff reports

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