Diocese: Ex-bishop used sexual innuendo toward subordinates

FILE - In this Nov. 1, 2018, file photo, Patrick Morrisey speaks to reporters after a debate in Morgantown, W.Va. West Virginia's Roman Catholic diocese has released the names of nine more priests who it said have been credibly accused of child sexual abuse. West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey in March 2019 filed a lawsuit accusing the diocese and former Bishop Michael Bransfield of knowingly employing pedophiles and failing to conduct adequate background checks on camp and school workers. (AP Photo/Raymond Thompson, File)

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FILE - This Feb. 21, 2005 file photo, shows incoming bishop of the Wheeling-Charleston diocese, W.Va, Michael Bransfield in his new office, in Wheeling, W.Va. West Virginia's Roman Catholic diocese has released the names of nine more priests who it said have been credibly accused of child sexual abuse. West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey in March 2019 filed a lawsuit accusing the diocese and former Bishop Michael Bransfield of knowingly employing pedophiles and failing to conduct adequate background checks on camp and school workers.(AP Photo/Dale Sparks, File)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The head of West Virginia's Roman Catholic diocese says an investigation into a former bishop found a "consistent pattern" of sexual innuendo and suggestive comments and actions toward subordinates.

Archbishop William Lori of the Wheeling-Charleston Diocese on Wednesday released the results of an investigation into claims against ex-Bishop Michael Bransfield , who resigned last year.

Lori says an investigation team determined that the accusations against Bishop Bransfield are credible. It found no conclusive evidence of sexual misconduct by Bransfield involving minors.

Lori says the investigation determined Bransfield also misused church funds for his own benefit, including to pay for expensive renovations to his private residences in Wheeling and Charleston, and his intended retirement residence.

No one responded to a telephone message left at a phone number listed for Bransfield.

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