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Ex-priest named as child abuser fired by city of Springfield

Young Priest praying with rosery in his hands

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) _ The city of Springfield has fired a City Water, Light and Power employee whose name appeared on a list of Catholic priests credibly accused of child sex abuse.

The State Journal-Register reports 62-year-old Joseph D. Cernich was stripped of his priestly title in June 2003 and began working for the city five months later.

The Diocese of Springfield has refused to say which parishes Cernich had been assigned to as a priest or what he was accused of doing.

Human Resources Director Jim Kuizin says Cernich was dismissed in December after an investigation into his hiring and employment. Kuizin declined to reveal the reasons for Cernich’s firing. The State Journal-Register reports there is no record of complaints or disciplinary action.

A request for comment from Cernich wasn’t answered. He can appeal the city’s decision to dismiss him through the Springfield Civil Service Commission or arbitration.

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