NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - In a FOX 8 exclusive, a source tells us prominent businessman and Times Picayune-New Orleans Advocate co-owner John Georges may have participated in behind the scenes communications involving the Archdiocese’s release of credibly accused pedophile priests.
According to court records filed by the attorneys for alleged church sex abuse victims, the Saints, team owner Gayle Benson, and communications executive Greg Bensel were not the only local, influential people with deep ties to the Archdiocese that were involved in managing the fallout from the sexual abuse crisis.
The filing says "the list of organizations and individuals revealed in the documents the Saints and Archdiocese seek to conceal from the public is nothing short of shocking." It goes on to say "more than several influential members of this community from the state, federal and private sectors, as well as the local media, were also involved.”
Again, a source tells FOX 8, Times Picayune and New Orleans advocate co-owner John Georges is one of those influential members of the community involved.
FOX 8 spoke to Georges Tuesday afternoon on the phone.
“Your source is incorrect,” Georges said. “You said a source said that I was one of the members of the media. I had no contact with the Archdiocese during the period in question.”
Attorneys representing alleged church sex abuse victims as well as the Associated Press have been fighting to have emails between the Archdiocese and the New Orleans Saints made public.
In court filings, the plaintiff’s attorneys said, “The Saints are not the only third parties that sent or received emails related to the public relations from the Archdiocese releasing its list of pedophiles. The Saints and Archdiocese included other third parties in their communications about Archdiocese pedophile priests.”
The names of those alleged to be involved are redacted. Court filings say some of those influential people appeared in emails and were also on conference calls with Bensel and others to discuss the matter. In the court records, the plaintiff's attorneys say that an email apparently “refers to removing priests from the pedophile list."
The emails referenced in the court filings came from the Saints. So all of the names redacted from those filing were emails the Saints provided.
We don’t know if Georges had direct communication with the Archdiocese. We should note the Times Picayune-New Orleans Advocate has reported extensively on the church sex abuse scandal as well as Saints executives assisting the Archdiocese with crisis management.