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Fushek's star first began to fade with the fall of his mentor, former bishop Thomas O'Brien, who, after a series of New Times stories and another investigation by then-County Attorney Rick Romley, signed an agreement granting him immunity from criminal charges if he would take a reduced role in the church and admit that he allowed priests accused of sexual misconduct to continue working with minors. He also admitted to transferring problem priests to new parishes without alerting parishioners about the priests' past. In several cases, priests accused of sexual contact with a minor at one parish allegedly continued abusing children at successive parishes.
After signing the agreement, O'Brien then began stating that he had not actually agreed to the seemingly apparent terms of the agreement. That debate was quickly silenced when O'Brien was arrested in a hit-and-run incident that left a man dead. O'Brien resigned as bishop and was later convicted of the crime.
Deputy county attorney Barbara Marshall asked that Fushek be held on $50,000 bond because, she said, "based on past experience with similar defendants, we feel that flight is a serious risk."
Indeed. Besides O'Brien's run from the scene of a fatal accident, three Valley priests -- Patrick Colleary, Joseph Henn and Joseph Briceno -- have left the country and refused to return to face charges.
Instead of bond, however, Maricopa County Commissioner Barbara Hamner had Fushek placed under house arrest at his home where he will wear a bracelet monitoring his whereabouts. He was also ordered to surrender his passport.