State Rep. Chris Taylor
Press Release

Reps. Taylor and Sargent Call on Matt Flynn to Withdraw from Governor’s Race

Files detail Flynn’s involvement covering up child sexual abuse by Catholic priests

By - Jun 26th, 2018 08:57 am
Matt Flynn. Photo courtesy of Forward with Flynn.

Matt Flynn. Photo courtesy of Forward with Flynn.

MADISON – Today, State Representatives Chris Taylor (D-Madison) and Melissa Sargent (D-Madison) called on Milwaukee attorney, Matt Flynn, to abandon his campaign for governor and withdraw from Wisconsin’s Democratic gubernatorial primary. The call comes after a  Wisconsin Gazette article and other reports about Flynn’s involvement representing the Archdiocese of Milwaukee from 1989 until 2004, when hundreds of child sexual assault allegations committed over decades were brought against dozens of priests. Electronic files reveal that Flynn played a central role in the Archdiocese’s responses to an inundation of child sexual assault allegations against Milwaukee Diocesan priests.

“Every client deserves zealous representation,” said Taylor, a former practicing attorney. “But you can vigorously represent your client without shielding sexual predators they employ who continue to pose extreme risks to children. Unfortunately, documents show that, among other things, Mr. Flynn participated in keeping parishes and the public in the dark about dozens of these pedophile priests, placing children at risk of being sexually abused.”

Flynn represented the Milwaukee Archdiocese during one of the most extensive and egregious priest child sexual abuse scandals in the country. As summarized in the attachment derived from individual priest’s archdiocese records, Flynn was aware of priests’ sexual abuse of children, assisted in transferring abusive priests to other parishes, failed to—and sometimes prevented others from—reporting instances of child sexual abuse by priests to law enforcement, paid off priests who went on to pursue professions working with families and children, negotiated settlements with victims requiring secrecy, and filed liens against survivors whose cases fell outside the statute of limitations.

Given a chance to explain his involvement and address some of the serious questions raised by this scandal, Flynn responded that anybody who thinks he should get out of the Governor’s race should “jump in the lake.”

“Mr. Flynn’s responses to genuine, warranted inquiries added insult to injury and demonstrate a lack of compassion, and a lack of understanding about the magnitude of this scandal, and the lives impacted and shattered by sexual abuse,” Taylor added. “This is not someone who should be running for the Democratic nomination for Governor.”

Sargent agreed. “We’re Democrats. We’re a big-tent party, and we believe in accepting and welcoming everyone. But our tent is simply not big enough for sexual harassment, abuse, or assault, or anyone who effectively abets.”

Taylor and Sargent have spent their legislative careers advancing policies advocating with and for survivors of sexual assault and abuse and for policies that advance the well-being of children. In 2013, Taylor was one of three lead authors of the Child Victim’s Act, the terms of which Mr. Flynn previously argued against in court actions.

Neither have endorsed any Democratic candidate in the 2018 governor’s race. Additional documents from the Milwaukee Archdiocese sexual abuse scandal and case can also be reviewed online.

Friends of Chris Taylor 

Friends of Melissa Sargent 

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7 thoughts on “Reps. Taylor and Sargent Call on Matt Flynn to Withdraw from Governor’s Race”

  1. Jake formerly of the LP says:

    Long overdue. Flynn can’t win, and would hurt Dem enthusiasm in November because he cant explain this away.

    Yes, his ideas and statements have been good, but the old man needs to see the big picture.

  2. Matt says:

    Could somebody ask Evan Goyke to tell these fake ass progressives to fuck off. The right to a defense is in the constitution and if these whiny ass “progressives” can’t wrap their heads around that they should just go get one of those Melania jackets and fill their pockets with fatcat non lawyer money.

    And these clowns are from Madison. Anyone ever going to ask them what they have done for the people of Milwaukee (like the African Americans, or the Hispanics.) Powerless little whiners got big things to say during the primary? How about saying something about something important.

    Lakes are too good for hypocrites.

  3. PMD says:

    Matt Flynn?

  4. GRNDPAKWH says:

    I live in Milwaukee and have spent many years working to better the lives of the people in Milwaukee and I say Matt Flynn has to go.

  5. Frank Martinelli says:

    Let’s remember: While everyone deserves a defense, no attorney has to take any client that walks through the door. In this instance, there was a moral character judgment to be made. Flynn failed. The insistence from Flynn and his allies that “he was just doing his job” is exactly right — His job was to strategize and lead the Archdiocese’s war against child victims of clergy abuse. And oh, he did such a great job for one of the most powerful institutions in our community.
    And this is why Matt Flynn is unfit for public office and needs to drop out of the race now!

    Personal Disclaimer: I have not supported, nor am I currently working to support, the candidacy of anyone else running for Governor. And I will not be voting for Walker.
    Frank Martinelli, Milwaukee #MeToo

  6. AD Powell says:

    Does anyone remember how Republicans called former State Justice Louis Butler pro-rape because he had once defended a client accused of rape?

    https://host.madison.com/news/local/gableman-ad-ripped-as-misleading-attack-on-butler-described-as/article_08f03bff-4d7a-5889-9347-9caf6c215b04.html

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