Archdiocese creditors challenge ruling, claim judge has conflict of interest
MILWAUKEE - The creditors in the bankruptcy case against the Milwaukee Archdiocese are asking for a judge to set aside a ruling blocking funds from a trust be used to pay their settlement.
The trust is meant to be used for cemeteries owned and operated by the archdiocese, and U.S. District Judge Randolph Randa last month ruled that the funds couldn't be used in the bankruptcy settlement because it would "substantially burden" their freedom of religion under the First Amendment, according to the Journal Sentinel.
The creditors, many who are sex abuse victims of the church, have also asked Judge Randa to recuse himself from the case because of a possible conflict of interest. They are asking a bankruptcy judge to release records stating whether Randa and his wife own plots in one of the cemeteries.
They "discovered that at least nine of Judge Randa's relatives (including his mother, his father and his wife's parents) are buried in cemeteries owned and operated by" the archdiocese.
The archdiocese's cemetery trust reportedly has more than $50 million in funds used to upkeep the cemeteries it owns.