Church coverup exposed in secret files; Brown amassing big political war chest; DWP sick pay

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The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels Via Flickr by marianne muegenburg cothern

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Church scandal. Hundreds of pages of newly released files are shedding more light on a child sex abuse scandal in the Los Angeles Roman Catholic archdiocese. They files cover five different orders – including a dozen priests, brothers and nuns, and decades of alleged abuse.

The files were released under the terms of a $660 million settlement agreement reached six years ago. The documents are the first glimpse at what religious orders knew about the envoys they placed in Roman Catholic schools and parishes around greater L.A.

Included in the release is the case of one priest, Father Ruben Martinez, originally from South L.A., who later admitted to having sexual contact with more than 100 boys while serving in several Southern California parishes. The documents reveal the years of effort his order spent trying to cure him of his pedophilia as it shuffled him between programs, including inpatient treatment, and paying for decades of therapy.

Martinez was eventually pulled from active ministry in 1993.

Under court order, the archdiocese already this year released thousands of pages of files that covered its own priests who were accused of sexual abuse.

Several dozen more files are expected to be released by the fall. L.A. Daily News

Brown’s green. Gov. Jerry Brown is amassing a formidable political war chest as he ponders running for reelection next year. Brown has raised more than $10 million to campaign for what would be his fourth term as governor. Two potential GOP rivals – former Lt. Governor Abel Maldonado and Assemblyman Tim Donnelly – each have less than $50,000 on hand, or about 200 times less than Brown. The governor also has $3 million left over from his successful campaign to pass Prop. 30, a temporary tax increase on high-income earners. In the 2010 race for governor, Brown spent about $36 million, compared to more than $175 million spent by Meg Whitman. L.A. Times

Climate change. More Californians than ever say state government should act right away to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, rather than wait until the economy and job situation improve. The Public Policy Institute of California’s released its 13th annual survey on the environment today. It finds that 65 percent of Californians say the government should act right away to cut emissions. That’s a nine point increase from last year. Half of respondents say they view global warming as a very serious threat to California’s future economy and quality of life, and a quarter see it as a somewhat serious threat. Public Policy Institute of California

Sick policy. A whole bunch of DWP workers are likely to be calling in sick less often from now on…Under pressure from the public and the L.A. City Council, DWP managers agreed yesterday to change a policy that allowed employees to receive unlimited paid sick days. The policy has been in place for more than 30 years and has cost taxpayers more than $35 million since 2010. The L.A. Times says ten percent of the utility’s 10,000 employees took at least 20 sick days in 2012. One senior accountant averaged 59 sick days between 2010 and 2012. L.A. Times

Birth control. Many California pharmacies and supermarkets will have a new birth control option on the shelves today: The so-called “morning after” pill. Women in California have not needed a prescription to buy the Plan-B emergency contraception method, but it’s been kept behind pharmacy counters. Starting today, retailers like CVS and Safeway are moving the item onto shelves. Backers say that will ease access. The federal government dropped its fight to impose age limits on the morning after pill in June after a string of legal defeats. Girls under 15 still need a prescription. San Jose Mercury News