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Former deacon, teacher in Mahoning County loses teaching license

Published: Fri, August 8, 2014 @ 12:09 a.m.

Staff report


A former deacon and teacher at two schools in Mahoning County has lost his teaching license.

Ernest Formichelli taught at Cardinal Mooney High School from 1976-2013 and St. Christine School from 1971-76, according to diocese records. He no longer is employed by the Diocese of Youngstown and no longer is a deacon.

In September 2013, the Ohio Board of Education accepted a resolution “to accept the voluntary surrender and to enter an order to revoke permanently the five-year professional high school teaching license and permanent nontax teaching certificate” of Formichelli.

In an email, the group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said the information about Formichelli was a “random discovery” it made on the state board of education website, www.education.ohio.gov.

During a news conference in June, Judy Jones, Midwest associate director of SNAP, said a SNAP member had been abused by a deacon, and another person also had accused that deacon of abuse. SNAP would not name the deacon at that time, but Jones said Thursday that the accusations were against Formichelli.

However, in a statement, the Rev. John Jerek, vicar of clergy for the Diocese of Youngstown, said: “SNAP has been misinformed and is operating under suspicions, not facts. The Diocese of Youngstown follows civil law, church law and our policy of putting children first in every case of allegation of sexual abuse.”

Formichelli was among seven people mentioned in the Ohio Board of Education meeting minutes concerning licenses to teach. The minutes note that Formichelli “waived his right to a hearing” and is ineligible to apply for certification or licensure in Ohio.

“Ohio law prohibits the Diocese of Youngstown from giving specifics on the employment of any individual. All of us who are employees would like to be respected in the same way,” the diocese release read. “There is a process,” he said, adding the diocese works with authorities in reports of abuse.

Father Jerek added that “there is a process on both ends” that protects parties involved.

Jones said SNAP believes it is the responsibility of the diocese to release or post the names of abusers on its website.

The Mahoning County Prosecutor’s Office could not release any information, but Jones said reports were taken.

Formichelli could not be reached for comment; no phone number is listed.

Father Jerek’s news release said that when the diocese receives an allegation, action is taken. “Following the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and the Diocese of Youngstown Child Protection Policies all allegations of sexual abuse are reported to the civil authorities. The independent Diocesan Review Board examines the case and initiates an investigation by a retired FBI agent. During the investigation, the priest or deacon is placed on administrative leave. Once the investigation is completed, the Review Board makes a recommendation to the Bishop concerning whether or not the person should continue in ministry,” the release stated.

The charter does not apply to any action that occurred prior to ordination, the news release stated. It continued, “When the diocese receives an allegation about a lay person, it is reported to the civil authorities and the person is placed on administrative leave until the result of the civil investigation is known. If the allegation is proved true or credible, the person is dismissed.”


1JudyJones(157 comments)posted 1 year ago

Quoted: "The charter does not apply to any action that occurred prior to ordination, the news release stated. It continued, “When the diocese receives an allegation about a lay person, it is reported to the civil authorities and the person is placed on administrative leave until the result of the civil investigation is known. If the allegation is proved true or credible, the person is dismissed.”---

In other words, the allegations were proved to be true and credible, Why did Bishop Murry not make this public so that parents could protect their children?

It's extremely rare that a child predator has only one victim. Some have many. Child predators need to be kept far away from kids forever.
Your silence only hurts, and by speaking up there is a chance for healing, exposing the truth, and therefore protecting others
Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, 636-433-2511, snapjudy@gmail.com
SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

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2Millerh113(183 comments)posted 1 year ago

This story doesn't tell us very much. The diocese's reluctance to provide complete information creates ugly suspicion and speculation. This story should have remained unpublished until all the facts are available.

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3dd933(295 comments)posted 1 year ago

First you create the suspicion and speculation, then you build it up and pretty soon the Attorney General or the FBI or somebody else from out of town comes and wreaks havoc on our image as a community. Vindicator 101. Didn't you get the syllabus?
Voted the best newspaper in Ohio.

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4SNAPadmin(1 comment)posted 1 year ago

Two brave victims report him to law enforcement. Then Youngstown Diocese quietly ousts him as a deacon and a teacher. Then the State Board of Education permanently revokes his teaching license. It's clear Formichelli is a child molester. Let's hope Bishop Murry stops hiding behind his desk, his lawyers and his public relations staffers, and steps up and admits he's keeping secrets about Formichelli and other predators.

David Clohessy
Executive Director, SNAP
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
7234 Arsenal Street
St. Louis MO 63143
314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com

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5kensgirl(840 comments)posted 1 year ago

I know the Vindicator is hurting for money but really? Anyone can accuse someone of anything and the next day it is in print. Mr. Clohessy shame on you. I can't imagine what a sex abuse victim goes through but at the same time the accused needs a fair day in court. You can't unring a bell and if Mr. Formiceeli is found innocent he still has to live with the accusations. Let's let this play out first before we convict him of anything. BTW- I don't know Mr. Formicelli and have never met him. I hope the truth comes out whichever way this plays.

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6MFC997(255 comments)posted 1 year ago

I missed the part about the law enforcement investigation / charges / conviction ...
shouldn't that be in there somewhere ??
this is all about money don't fool yourselves
follow the money ....

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7osu882(6 comments)posted 1 year ago

Considering the students of Mooney knew this over a year ago...good job Vindicator. Always on the ball.

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