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Diocese names Baranski Spangler new director of communications

The Diocese of Buffalo has hired Kathy Baranski Spangler as its director of communications, it announced Friday afternoon in a statement.

Baranski Spangler replaces George Richert, who announced he was stepping down during what has been a tumultuous time for the diocese. A Buffalo native and Syracuse University graduate, she will assume her duties on Monday.

She is the former director of development at Christ the King School in Snyder. Prior to moving back to Buffalo, she served in the same position at two Christian schools in Colorado, according to the diocese's release.

Richert, a former television reporter who began his tenure in 2016, announced on Aug. 29 he was stepping down from the post. His announcement came days after the first calls for Bishop Richard J. Malone to step down by Rep. Brian Higgins, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, and others, amid a scandal over his handling of sex abuse and sexual harassment allegations.

Richert was the third key staff member to leave the central offices of the diocese this summer.

Also stepping down were Malone's administrative assistant, Siobhán O'Connor, and his vicar general and moderator of the curia, the Rev. Mark Noonan, who resigned from that post after three months and returned to work in a parish.

Top officials leave Buffalo Diocese posts amid controversy

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