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Judge rebukes Spokane diocese for threat to bankruptcy trustee

February 24, 2010

A federal judge in the state of Washington has found the Spokane diocese and its attorneys in contempt of court for threatening to sue a bankruptcy trustee. The Spokane diocese had agreed to a bankruptcy settlement that specified payments to certain victims of sexual abuse, but the 2007 agreement did not spell out the handling of future abuse complaints. When the bankruptcy trustee, Gloria Nagler, approved payments to some new victims, the diocesan attorney threatened to file suit against Nagler. Judge Patricia Williams saw that threat as an attempt to intimidate the trustee, and ordered the diocese to pay the trustee's legal fees. The judge also instructed the trustee to continue with the payments.


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