SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The chairperson for the Independent Task Force on the Response to Sexual Abuse within the Diocese of Springfield has stepped down.
According to a news release sent to 22News, Retired Superior Court Judge Daniel Ford submitted his resignation due to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest or bias based on a paid legal consultant job that he has undertaken.
The resignation was accepted by Bishop Byrne and is effective immediately. Judge Ford informed his colleagues that he had been retained to provide advice in a civil matter, having nothing to do with the Diocese of Springfield, but involving Egan, Flanagan, and Cohen, PC the Springfield law firm which also represents the diocese.
“While my work with the law firm did not constitute a conflict of interest as prescribed by legal standards, in discussing this matter with the Task Force members it became clear to me that members of the group did have concerns. In recognition of that feedback and given the sensitivity of the subject matter being considered, even the appearance of a conflict, had the potential of compromising the credibility of the Task Force’s work,” Judge Ford stated.
Bishop Byrne thanked Judge Ford for his efforts and integrity, “I am most grateful to Judge Ford for having guided the Task Force through its information gathering work these past months- and his tireless advocacy of the Task Force in the news media. He has shown a great understanding for the need of the Task Force’s work to be above any reproach, stepping down from work that he had fully committed himself to since last June.”
During the Task Force’s next meeting held on June 2 the transition of leadership will be discussed.