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Jay Tokasz

Jay Tokasz, who covers higher education for The Buffalo News, has spent 24 years in newspapers, writing on a wide range of subjects, from evidence-tampering cops to papal elections. He previously worked for the Ithaca Journal and the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.


Uncategorized

Genesee County sheriff's deputies added a litany of new charges – including vehicular assault and reckless driving - against an Oakfield man already accused of driving while intoxicated in connection with a three-vehicle crash Wednesday in Corfu. The crash sent four people to the hospital. Jacob J. Szumigala, 24, was driving a Hyundai Sonata westbound on Route 33 aro…

Buffalo

Bishop Richard J. Malone mentioned in March that no Catholic Diocese of Buffalo properties would be off-limits from the possibility of being sold to help compensate childhood victims of clergy sexual abuse. The sell-off started on Tuesday, with Malone's sudden announcement that he will put on the market his own residence, a palatial mansion on one of Buffalo's most excl…

Buffalo

Canisius College and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center are each getting $2 million from local benefactor Patrick P. Lee. The gift to Canisius will establish the Lee Foundation Scholarship Program to support students in finance, computer science, mathematics and statistics, and physics. Two scholarships of $10,000 each will be awarded annually to freshmen with dem…

Buffalo

Bishop Richard J. Malone assures donors that no gifts to Catholic Charities will be used to settle clergy sexual abuse claims. But area Catholics – one way or another – are paying. To compensate sex abuse victims, Malone said the diocese will rely on insurance coverage, investment reserves and the possible sale of property, all of which trace back to the wallets and …

Buffalo

A final state budget deal went forward on Friday without including the Child Victims Act, legislation that would have expanded the statute of limitations in child sexual abuse cases and created a "look back" period for victims to file lawsuits in cases of abuse from years ago. "The best I can say is its disappointing and not surprising," said Thomas Travers, a Buffalo m…

Local News

The pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Dunkirk was placed on leave Monday after the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo received a complaint of alleged abuse. Bishop Richard J. Malone wrote an open letter to parishioners stating that the Rev. Dennis G. Riter was placed on "administrative leave" pending an investigation into the complaint. "Please note that this leav…

Buffalo

Eight priests from the Diocese of Buffalo accused of sexually abusing children live within a short walk of area elementary and middle schools. Beyond naming the priests, the diocese has declined to disclose addresses or any other information about the 42 priests it said on Tuesday had credible allegations of sexual misconduct involving minors brought against them. Se…

Buffalo

A spokesman for the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo declined on Wednesday to disclose more information about 42 priests who were identified as having had credible allegations of child sexual abuse brought against them, but he said further disclosures "certainly will be considered" in the future. "At this time what we felt was most appropriate was to get the names out on a t…

Buffalo

For more than 30 years, Timothy J. Clark lived with the emotional scars of being sexually abused by a parish priest. The name of the man who allegedly assaulted Clark remained a closely guarded secret. Clark didn't want to talk much about it. Bishops for the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo refused to acknowledge anything about priests who were accused of molesting minors. …

Buffalo

Update: The diocese released the list Tuesday morning. Bishop Richard J. Malone is planning to release a list later this morning of the names of priests who have been accused of sexual misconduct with minors. Malone alerted diocesan priests in an email Monday of his decision to disclose the names of priests that have been kept secret for decades. Diocesan spokesma…

Buffalo

The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo quietly paid $1.5 million in 2016 to a man who alleged a priest sexually abused him when he was a teenager more than three decades ago. It was the diocese's second financial settlement of a lawsuit alleging abuse by James A. Spielman, a former diocesan priest who served in at least six Western New York parishes and taught religion at Arch…

Featured

A Minnesota law firm known for representing victims of clergy sexual abuse is urging Bishop Richard J. Malone to release details about the extent of abuse in the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, including identifying the names of accused priests. Attorney J. Michael Reck of Jeff Anderson & Associates P.A. sued the Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre on Long Island in 2…

Buffalo

Bishop Richard J. Malone is reconsidering a longstanding Catholic Diocese of Buffalo policy that withholds the names of priests who have been accused of sexual abuse. Publicizing the names of clergy alleged to have molested children would reverse a tradition that's been in place for more than 15 years. "We're looking at it anew," Malone said following his recent anno…

Buffalo

James A. McCarthy hasn't seen the Rev. Norbert F. Orsolits in years. But the face of the priest still creeps into his mind anytime he enters a Catholic church, he said. McCarthy, 69, says a short prayer to make the image go away: "Lord, help me to do the right thing and let this pass." It gets him past the awful memory of the sexual abuse that McCarthy said he end…

Erie County

A retired priest from the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo admitted Tuesday he had sexually abused "probably dozens" of teenage boys in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The Rev. Norbert F. Orsolits made the admission after a South Buffalo man publicly accused Orsolits of abusing him when he was a teenager during a ski outing more than 35 years ago. Michael F. Whalen, 52, s…