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Attorneys acting on behalf of the Diocese of Gallup sent the following letter and relevant policies and Chapter 11 documents to the offices of Attorney General Hector Balderas on October 5th. The Diocese would like to express our clear intent to cooperate with State authorities from both New Mexico and Arizona. Because many of our records were sealed through our recent Chapter 11 process, we would be in violation of Federal law if we were to hand over many of the documents requested through the NM Attorney General’s office. However, we are not opposed to the offices of the attorneys general seeking to gain approval through the federal courts to review the requested documents. Furthermore, should this approval through the federal courts be granted, the Diocese of Gallup invites the offices of the attorneys general to Gallup to review relevant files.
“OCTOBER 05 – Dear Attorney General Balderas,
“Our firm represents the Diocese of Gallup, and we are in receipt of your September 4th letter requesting a voluntary disclosure of documentation. Our client is eager to build a partnership with your office and the Arizona Attorney General’s office to ensure a safe environment for all those who live in the Diocese of Gallup.
“Pursuant to our meeting with your office on September 26th, 2018, and based on those discussions, please find attached the relevant documents to your inquiry. In particular, this includes all relevant policies and procedures of the Diocese of Gallup, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Universal Law of the Roman Catholic Church, and the Disclosure Statement from bankruptcy that the Diocese completed in 2016, attached hereto as Exhibit A and incorporated by reference herein.
“We have also attached extensive records related to the bankruptcy that the Diocese completed in 2016, attached hereto as Exhibit B and incorporated by reference herein. As we have discussed, the Diocese of Gallup is in a unique position in that the bankruptcy process was extremely thorough and required disclosure and investigation of much of the materials you are requesting. As we further discussed, in interest of protecting victim confidentiality, the Federal Bankruptcy Court put in place an order sealing many of the private records that you have requested to review. Your office has indicated that they will be working on Court approval to be brought into that confidentiality agreement, and we are happy to continue discussing the matter of that process.
“Further, as you are aware, the Diocese of Gallup is also in a unique position in that it is situated in both Arizona and New Mexico. Upon your review of these initial documents, and your being approved by the Court for review of confidential documents, we would be happy to have you and Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich to Gallup for a follow-up review of our relevant files.
“Finally, in a spirit of building a strong partnership in the protection of victims, we are requesting that your office provide us any information and documentation you have regarding any claims of impropriety regarding the Diocese of Gallup. We are especially interested in any information you have regarding your statement that ‘[t]he Attorney General of New Mexico has cause to believe that the Diocese of Gallup, has either negligently or knowingly withheld records and/or omitted material facts from persons in connection with the allegations of child sexual abuse for over half a century.’ The disclosure of this information is vital to our efforts of ensuring that we comply with the due diligence requirements of our policies, the orders issued in the bankruptcy proceedings, and the law generally.
“Please let us know if you have any other questions, and we look forward to further cooperation in these efforts.
“Very truly yours,
Mascon & Isaacson, P.A.