Flynn Starts Campaign for Governor by Embracing Controversial Behavior
October 12, 2017
[Madison, WI]— Earlier this week, at an event announcing his run for governor, Dirty Defense Attorney Matt Flynn expressed no regrets with the way he treated victims of sexual abuse, despite victims’ advocates saying his conduct on cases makes him unfit to serve as governor. Flynn’s behavior demonstrates that Wisconsin’s hard-working families can’t trust him to lead Wisconsin or keep us safe.
Read the article from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel online here, or read excerpts below.
Bice: Wisconsin governor candidate Matt Flynn defends his work on priest abuse cases
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
October 10, 2017
As he made his formal announcement to run for governor, former Democratic Party Chairman Matthew Flynn defended himself against charges that he was overly aggressive in representing the Archdiocese of Milwaukee against victims of sexual abuse by priests.
Specifically, Flynn came under attack for moving to collect $4,000 in legal fees from an alleged victim who lost his case. Also, Flynn is accused of telling a lawyer for several abuse victims that the archdiocese would “throw a crumb to your clients if you drop these cases.”
This week, Peter Isley, spokesman for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, called into question whether Flynn should be running for the state’s highest political post.
Isley said the primary duty of any governor is the protection and safety of all state residents, especially children. But Isley said Flynn’s record doesn’t suggest he would be the best person to do this.
“For some fifteen years, Matt Flynn was the chief corporate lawyer for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee during the height of the widespread and systematic coverup of thousands of sex crimes against children by dozens of sex offender priests,” Isley said.
But Flynn, 70, said Tuesday that he had no regrets about how he defended the Milwaukee archdiocese against those making accusations that they were molested by priests. Flynn represented the archdiocese until 2004.
According to a Journal Sentinel story, Joe Cerniglia sued the archdiocese and Father William Effinger in 1993, claiming Effinger sexually abused him. A Milwaukee County judge tossed the case because the statute of limitations had expired.
Later, Cerniglia found that lawyers for the church sought to recover some $4,000 in legal fees from him by having the court impose a lien on his property. He found out about the judgment when checking his credit.
“In my opinion, they were trying to stick it to (Cerniglia) and to get in one last shot,” said Cerniglia’s first attorney, David Borowski, now a Milwaukee County judge.
In the other case cited by Republican officials, Jeff Anderson, an attorney for five individuals suing the archdiocese over sexual abuse by priests, told the media that Flynn had urged him to drop the litigation, according to the National Catholic Reporter.
“Anderson told the press: ‘(Flynn) said, ‘You’re going to lose anyway, so we’ll throw a crumb to your clients if you drop these cases.’ ”
Alec Zimmerman, a spokesman for the state GOP, said Flynn’s conduct in this case made things even worse for the litigants. “Matt Flynn shamelessly endangered the welfare of these victims in order to line his own pockets,” Zimmerman said.
Read the full story online here.