Monday, August 20, 2007
CLEVELAND DIOCESE ON TRIAL
following a kickback scheme that involved many millions of dollars. The trial is scheduled to begin today. Bishop Pilla is expected to testify. According to yesterday's Plain Dealer article:
Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of Boston-based BishopAccountability.org, said Zgoznik's trial will get national attention.
"Nationwide, the judges' willingness to demand that the dioceses make financial disclosures is something we're seeing with increasing frequency," Doyle said. Church officials "have been shown to be secretive and not honest."
In expectation of widespread media coverage, Bishop Richard Lennon last week sent letters to all of the Cleveland Diocese parishes, warning the pastors to be prepared for "sensational" news reports from the trial.
The defendants are expected to call retired Bishop Pilla to testify at both trials.
Sozio, the diocesan attorney, predicted the defendants would take extreme measures to divert attention from their crimes.
"These are desperate allegations by desperate men," Sozio said.