Stockton Diocese update: Mediator appointed; files online

snowicki@modbee.comFebruary 6, 2014 

— In an update on its Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, Bishop Stephen Blaire on Tuesday evening released a report saying Nevada bankruptcy Judge Gregg W. Zive has been appointed to act as a mediator between the Stockton Diocese and its major creditors.

Last week, diocesan attorneys filed a schedule of assets and liabilities. Assets totaled $7.2 million, which included real estate estimated at $2 million, and liabilities totaled $11.9 million. That did not include any costs from claims of pending lawsuits alleging clergy abuse.

The diocese also has put all documents relating to the Chapter 11 filing online on their bankruptcy attorney’s website. They can be found at www.ffwplaw.com. Click on “cases” in the left margin; log in with the user email cases@ffwplaw.com and the password “password.” Then click on the link for the Roman Catholic Bishop of Stockton and select the files and documents you want to see.

Those documents show, among other things, the diocese’s top 20 creditors. They include the pastors of several parishes and individuals who helped purchase the diocesan property in downtown Stockton and unknown damages in four pending lawsuits, two by southern California attorney John Manly and two by Sacramento attorney Joseph George.

The two by Manly involve the Rev. Michael Kelly, who was indicted last month on criminal molestation charges by a Calaveras County grand jury. The two George cases are against defrocked priest Oliver O’Grady, who is serving a three-year term in an Irish prison for possession of child pornography.

Statements from Blaire and the chronology of events are on the diocesan website.

The case continues Feb. 26 with a status conference in Sacramento.

Bee staff writer Sue Nowicki can be reached at snowicki@modbee.com or (209) 578-2012.

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