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Missouri attorney general seeks court order for church files

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – The Missouri Attorney General’s Office is seeking court orders for Catholic dioceses to provide records as part of an investigation into potential clergy abuse.

Spokeswoman Mary Compton in a Tuesday statement said the office wants personnel records, records relating to allegations of abuse and other documents from Missouri Catholic organizations.

Outgoing Attorney General Josh Hawley on Tuesday tweeted that the office wants court orders to “acquire information needed from the dioceses to ensure a full, thorough, and independent investigation.”

Hawley unseated U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill and will leave office in January.

Hawley launched an investigation of potential abuse in August. But Missouri’s attorney general has limited power in investigating most criminal allegations, so the office asked dioceses for cooperation.

All four Missouri Roman Catholic dioceses agreed to open their records.

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