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Roman Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston seeks dismissal of WV AG Morrisey lawsuit

By JESS MANCINI

The Parkersburg News and Sentinel

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey
(West Virginia Legislative Photography photo)

PARKERSBURG, W.Va.  — The attorney general of West Virginia lacks the authority to bring a lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, according to a motion from the church to dismiss a lawsuit against it.

The lawsuit by Attorney General Patrick Morrisey was filed in March in Wood County and claims the diocese and former Bishop Michael J. Bransfield knowingly hired pedophiles, failed to perform employee background checks and didn’t make any such disclosures to parents in violation of West Virginia consumer protection laws.

“The (attorney general) fails to allege that the (diocese) violated the (West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act) as it pertains to credit sales, consumer loans and consumer leases,” the motion for dismissal filed on behalf of the diocese and Bransfield said. “Rather, the AG’s allegations relate to the language on (diocese’s) website stating that it provides a safe school environment.”

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