Diocese of Pittsburgh chooses third-party reporting system for suspected wrongdoing

PITTSBURGH — The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh has chosen a third-party reporting system, hired an investigation firm to help assess allegations of child sexual abuse and named its next victim assistance coordinator.

The diocese announced the moves Tuesday as it works “to implement the best practices in transparency and accountability that Bishop David Zubik outlined in his pastoral letter, The Church Healing.”

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Ethics Point is the third-party reporting system that will receive questions about suspected wrongdoing -- including financial, professional or personal misconduct -- in parishes, schools or diocesan offices. Once operational, it will be available online 24/7 through a hotline and online, allowing people to make anonymous reports.

The diocese said Ethics Point will not replace either the clergy abuse hotline (1-888-808-1235) or the need to report suspected abuse to ChildLine if the victim is still a minor.

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CSI Investigators, Inc., was chosen by the diocese as the investigation firm to staff the diocesan Office for Investigations and Monitoring.

“CSI personnel will conduct any diocesan inquiry into allegations that would not be the purview of investigations by law enforcement or other civil authorities,” a news release from the diocese said. “CSI will also work on the development of a supervised framework to monitor diocesan clergy who were permanently removed from ministry due to substantiated allegations of child sexual abuse but who cannot be dismissed from the clerical state due to age, illness or canonical restriction, as determined by the Holy See.”

A woman's body was found by a construction worker in a port-a-potty on the campus of Washington & Jefferson College Tuesday. Police were called when that worker couldn't open the door because it was locked from the inside. Officers were able to break in and found the body of the woman. Investigators said they believe her to be in her 30s. You can customize your WPXI News App to receive alerts for news stories in Washington County. CLICK HERE to find out how. "I'm an RA, so I was wondering if it could be one of my students. Super thankful it's not, super sorry to hear about it. It's very sad it's so close to campus," said Tyler Francis, a junior at W & J. The school notified students via email of the situation. The Washington County coroner released an update, saying the woman was from Hermitage and died of a drug overdose.

It was also announced Tuesday that Zubik appointed Sister Anna Marie Gaglia, of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Baden, to succeed Rita Flaherty as the diocesan victim assistance coordinator. Flaherty will retire at the end of the year.

Gaglia has worked as a family therapist, school guidance counselor, secondary and college teacher and school administrator.