West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R) filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the Catholic diocese of Wheeling-Charleston and its former bishop, Michael Bransfield, alleging they violated the state's consumer protection laws by "knowingly" employing pedophiles. The suit alleges the diocese and Bransfield did not conduct substantial background checks on people hired to work in Catholic schools and camps, and that they tried to "cover up and conceal arguably criminal behavior of child sexual abuse." Because Morrisey used consumer law to file a civil lawsuit, the church's files can be viewed through legal discovery. The diocese, which covers the whole state, released a statement Tuesday saying it "strongly and unconditionally rejects the complaint's assertion that the diocese is not wholly committed to the protection of children."
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