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Vindicator should forgive, forget past transgressions of Kerrigan



Published: Wed, August 14, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

Vindicator should forgive, forget past transgressions of Kerrigan

I write about Pat Kerrigan, a former Youngstown municipal judge, who was convicted for wrongdoing for acts that occurred over 20 years ago. Pat Kerrigan and I are lifelong friends, and he also happens to be my nephew. I also know him to be a man of faith, integrity and compassion for his fellow man. My views are shared by many others.

On July 21, The Vindicator ran a story on Page 1 of the Sports section describing how 63-year old Pat Kerrigan has been playing competitive volley- ball for many years at the downtown YMCA. This year, his team will be competing for the third time in the National Senior Games in Cleveland. It was a great story, discussing the importance of physical activity in general, and the competitive spirit among Pat’s fellow senior teammates at the “Y.”

Yet, in the middle of that story, sticking out like a sore thumb, was an unnecessary and totally irrelevant paragraph about Pat’s criminal activity of many years ago. The volleyball story had its own legs, but that one paragraph actually detracted from its main message.

One month before on June 21, The Vindicator ran another story about Pat Kerrigan, also on Page 1, describing his long-term and vigorous volunteer efforts to help Father Ed Noga, pastor of St. Patrick Church, to improve and revitalize Youngstown’s lower South Side through a nonprofit group that Pat created and has funded so far exclusively with private funds.

It, too, was an excellent story, describing how St. Patrick Church was the catalyst for neighborhood change, and how much Pat Kerrigan was contributing to that volunteer effort. Once again, however, The Vindicator thought it was necessary to add a similar paragraph describing yet again, ad nauseum, the trouble Pat had been involved in many years ago.

Doesn’t The Vindicator realize that Pat Kerrigan has served his time, lost his law license and paid his debt to society, in a severe and substantial way? In the 15 years since his release, he has been involved in nothing but positive action, acquiring another graduate degree, serving as president of his church parish council for many years, taking a leadership role in ACTION and other community groups, and starting this nonprofit, among other things.

Isn’t there a reasonable time limit on The Vindicator taking shots at Pat as it has? Isn’t there a good-faith statute of limitations? How much does he have to do to prove his worth to you?

Richard P. McLaughlin, Youngstown


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