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Former BCA chief named to new archdiocese position

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis last week named a former head of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension as its point man for dealing with allegations of sexual misconduct by clergy.

Timothy O’Malley spent over 30 years in law enforcement. From 2006 to 2010 he led the BCA. He started out as a patrol officer in Rochester, was an FBI agent, and has led SWAT teams. He currently is the state’s deputy chief administrative law judge.

O’Malley begins work Sept. 15 as the archdiocese’s director of ministerial standards and safe environment, a position proposed by a church-commissioned task force last April. The panel found “serious shortcomings” in how the archdiocese had been handling the sexual abuse crisis and recommended that the archdiocese put a lay person in charge of dealing with misconduct allegations and preventing future abuse.

Archbishop John Nienstedt has been under fire for allegedly mishandling clerical misconduct cases since last year, when his top adviser on church law resigned in protest and went public. He has rejected calls to resign.

O’Malley said had a “very blunt conversation” when he met one-on-one with Nienstedt. He declined to go into much detail about their discussions, but said he asked for the meeting after he was offered the job, and that he got to see the archbishop the next day.

O’Malley said he’s been troubled and disappointed by the church’s response to the crisis, but that he believes the archdiocese has made good progress over the past year toward putting its house in order.

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