Child protection staff now complete with hiring of assistant director

| October 22, 2014 | 0 Comments
Michael Campion

Michael Campion

When Tim O’Malley was hired as the director of ministerial standards and safe environment for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Michael Campion approved.

The two men go back more than two decades in their law enforcement careers, both at one time working for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. In fact, both served as superintendent of the BCA, with Campion promoting O’Malley to superintendent in 2006.

Now, the two are working together again.

When O’Malley joined the archdiocese in mid-September, he wasted little time in bringing Campion on board to help oversee the archdiocese’s child protection efforts. Campion started the job as assistant director of ministerial standards and safe environment on Oct. 13.

“Throughout his career, Michael Campion has consistently demonstrated that he is a highly skilled, ethical investigator,” O’Malley said. “His actions have always been well reasoned, legally sound and, most important, sensitive to the needs of victims, survivors and their families. Those characteristics, particularly honoring the needs and desires of victims, were key factors in my decision to recruit him.”

The new office combines the existing Office for the Protection of Children and Youth, the Promoter of Ministerial Standards program, and the Advocacy and Victim Assistance program.

Day One for Campion was a barn-burner. He went from completing paperwork to witnessing his new employer joining forces with attorney Jeff Anderson of Jeff Anderson & Associates, the law firm that had filed clergy sex abuse lawsuits against the archdiocese over the last year and pressed hard for details about clergy who have been accused of sexual misconduct.

“The press conference was both significant and meaningful. Clearly, the responses from the victims were genuine,” said Campion, 66, about the part of the press conference when victims shared their stories and were greeted by Bishop Andrew Cozzens and Father Charles Lachowitzer, vicar general for the archdiocese.

Campion will do his part to keep the momentum going. He has seen his share of the dark side of humanity during a career that started in the 1970s as an undercover narcotics officer and eventually brought him to management positions.

After serving in the BCA, he was appointed commissioner of the Department of Public Safety by Gov. Tim Pawlenty in 2004 and served in that post until 2011.
Campion will bring not only his law enforcement background to the job, but also his faith.

“I don’t think there’s any Catholic who hasn’t been disheartened by the things that have happened, but we have an opportunity to help make it better,” said Campion, who is married with three children and belongs to St. Odilia in Shoreview. “I’m very pleased to be here. There’s a real satisfaction to have this opportunity.”

Campion is excited to be part of the effort to help the partnership move forward to protect children and help victims heal.

“I’m honored to be here,” he said.

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