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Pedophile priest suit settled for $9.1 million

SEATTLE – After being sued by eight women who alleged they were molested by a priest four decades ago, the Seattle Archdiocese has settled for $9.1 million.

The settlement, reported by the Seattle Times, came Wednesday after a psychiatrist’s letter, among other documents, surfaced last year reporting Michael Cody, the priest at the center of the suit, was a pedophile who needed to “be removed from parish work as soon as possible.” The letter, part of correspondence among church officials expressing concerns about Cody, was written in 1962; the women were abused between 1968 and 1975.

“He told me that he was suffering from an abnormal sexual attraction toward young girls,” psychiatrist Albert M. Hurley wrote. Hurley was explicit about his diagnosis, saying Cody was a pedophile who showed “sadistic tendencies” to boys.

Cody – who stopped serving as a priest in 1979, was defrocked in 2005 and died last year – served in a number of parishes in Washington state, where he “preyed on children for years,” as the Seattle Times put it. In a 1988 mental-health evaluation, Cody said he had molested up to 40 girls and one boy.

– Washington Post


Chicago teachers OK one-day school strike

CHICAGO – The Chicago Teachers Union has decided to walk off the job for one day next Friday, an effort meant to draw attention to ongoing contract negotiations and city schools’ dire financial outlook.

The one-day strike means that the city’s 400,000 students will miss class on two consecutive Fridays: They were already scheduled to be out of class Friday, when city schools close for the first of three furlough days meant to save the cash-strapped district approximately $30 million.

The nation’s third-largest school district faces a $1.1 billion deficit, largely due to growing pension payments, and its financial troubles have given Republican Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner an opening to push for state takeover.

Chicago Public Schools officials called the union’s walkout illegal, a breach of labor rules that they say prohibit teachers from striking any earlier than mid-May.

– Washington Post


Worker’s fatal fall is ruled a suicide

LOS ANGELES – The death of a man who fell from the 53rd floor of the downtown Los Angeles Wilshire Grand construction site last week has been ruled a suicide, the county coroner said.

It was Joseph Sabbatino’s second day on the job as an electrician at the construction site when he plunged to his death and landed on a moving car March 17. The driver of the car was uninjured.

Sabbatino, 36, had been depressed and struggling to find a stable career, his father, Vance Sabbatino, told KABC.

He left his job as a real estate agent with RE/MAX All-Pro in the Antelope Valley in December, a company official said.

Turner Construction, the company that manages the building site, said last week that the fallen worker had no reason to be above the third floor. Witnesses said it appeared he had removed his hard hat before the fall and that he was not wearing a tethered safety harness.

– Los Angeles Times

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