BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — A civil lawsuit filed in state court by a Tonawanda attorney alleges a ‘racketeering enterprise’ by the Diocese of Buffalo.

Attorney Kevin Stocker filed the lawsuit Wednesday under New York State’s new Child Victims Act, but unlike most of the more than 100 suits targeting the Diocese of Buffalo, the suit goes beyond allegations of child sex abuse and cover-up.

The suit — which is civil, not criminal — references the Racketeers Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly known as RICO, which is a statute designed to target organized crime.

The suit has 23 plaintiffs and focuses on “payments to the law firms and accountants to perform their roles in concealing the misconduct” by the diocese.

It names multiple priests and diocesan officials — as well as Bishop Richard J. Malone and retired Bishop Edward U. Kmiec — and alleges diocesan officials “associated together for the common purpose of harassing, threatening, extorting, and misleading victims’ [sic] of sexual abuse committed by priests; and misleading the priests’ victims and the media to prevent” it from becoming public.

The suit also states two whistleblowers came forward to report “wrongful conduct” by clergy and were “terminated” by the diocese as a result.

A spokeswoman for Bishop Richard J. Malone did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Neither did diocesan attorneys Terry Connors or Lawlor Quinlan.

Read the full lawsuit here:


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