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Former FBI agent to investigate abuse complaints for Buffalo diocese

Diocese of Buffalo

The Diocese of Buffalo has announced the appointment of Steven Halter as its new director of professional responsibillity. Halter's duties will include investigating complaints of clergy or employee sexual abuse and misconduct.The office was established in late August by Bishop Richard Malone to review the Diocesan Code of Conduct, strengthen it where necessary, and enforce it.

Halter previously served as a special agent in the Buffalo office of the FBI for more than 27 years. As a member of the Buffalo FBI Evidence Response Team, he assisted in the investigation of the 9/11 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center and the bombing of the USS Cole in Aden, Yemen.

His new duties will include investigating complaints of clergy or employee sexual abuse and misconduct, financial mismanagement or malfeasance, and preparing recommendations in the event of misconduct.

The diocese says Halter's experience includes conducting complex investigations and law enforcement operations and managing national and international white collar crime investigations and intelligence gathering, including public corruption and financial fraud matters.

In making the announcement, the diocese says "most importantly" Halter experience in investigations involving crimes against children. Dozens of alleged victims of clergy sex abuse have come forward over the last several months as calls for Bishop Richard Malone to resign have grown louder.

Halter, a Saint Bonaventure University graduate, will serve as a resource for church leaders throughout the diocese. He will begin his new role on October 1.