Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A diocese school chief fired

Posted on Mon, Apr. 19, 2010

A diocese school chief fired
The Scranton action is tied to an abuse probe.

Associated Press

SCRANTON - A Roman Catholic diocese in northeastern Pennsylvania says a school superintendent being investigated in connection with a sex-abuse allegation has been fired.

The Diocese of Scranton issued a statement Saturday confirming that Joseph Casciano "is no longer employed by the diocese, effective April 8." It said that Casciano "was informed of his termination in a letter from Cardinal Justin Rigali" and that there would be no further comment.

The diocese also confirmed that Casciano had asked for and been granted a leave of absence in effect since Dec. 28. Officials did not indicate what prompted the request.

Lackawanna County District Attorney Andy Jarbola said in January that the diocese had asked his office to look into an allegation of "inappropriate touching." He said that the alleged incident happened years ago but that the diocese had been notified only recently. His office is reviewing the case even though the statute of limitations has run out, he said.

He said Saturday the matter was still under investigation and no charges had been filed.

Casciano had overseen schools in the 11-county diocese since 2005, taking part in the consolidation and closure of schools due to declining enrollment. He began his career in the diocese in 1977 as a junior high school teacher at Scranton's St. Patrick's School, now All Saints Academy.

Rigali appointed as acting superintendent Kathleen Hanlon, who had been system administrator for the Holy Cross and Holy Redeemer regional school systems.

There was no answer at Casciano's West Scranton home Saturday evening.

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