Bishop Mark Bartchak and Acting United States Attorney Soo Song have announced the names of the individuals appointed to the Independent Oversight Board for Youth Protection for the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. Click below for the media advisory from the Department of Justice.

The Independent Oversight Board for Youth Protection for the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown provided the names and biographies of its members. The Independent Oversight Board was created pursuant to a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown and the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania on March 6, 2017.

The five members of the Independent Oversight Board appointed are:

James W. Brown is a former Chief of Staff to both U.S. Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr. and Pennsylvania Governor Robert P. Casey. Mr. Brown has extensive experience with issues involving children and education, including service on the boards of three schools that educate underprivileged children. Mr. Brown will serve as chair of the Independent Oversight Board.

Walter “Pete” Carlson is a former criminal investigator for the Pennsylvania State Police. Mr. Carlson investigated and helped prosecute child abuse cases for over 15 years. He also served as Chief of Detectives for the District Attorney’s Office of Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania. He has taught classes and lectured extensively on the subject of child abuse protection.

Eileen Dombo is an Associate Professor and Assistant Dean of the National Catholic School of Social Service at The Catholic University of America. Dr. Dombo is also a practicing psychotherapist and has written and lectured extensively on trauma, child sexual abuse and mental health treatment. Dr. Dombo is currently the Chair of the Child Protection Advisory Board of the Archdiocese of Washington, DC.

Mary Herwig is a practitioner in the field of Formative Spirituality and provides spiritual formation counseling, having studied under Adrian van Kaam C.S.Sp.,PhD and Susan Muto, PhD. She is an advocate for child protection in all its forms, including for those who have suffered child abuse. She experienced abuse herself as a young child. At present, Ms. Herwig promotes the Catholic Church’s call for a “New Evangelization”, and educates others on the importance of ongoing spiritual formation. She is a longtime resident of Somerset, Pennsylvania.

Jerry Johnson served as United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania for eight years. In that role he led the prosecution of thousands of criminal cases, including those involving child abuse. Mr. Johnson is a practicing attorney in Pittsburgh.

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