APPLETON - There was potentially troubling testimony for the Green Bay Catholic Diocese during a civil trial Thursday.
A priest in a leadership role in the diocese admitted on the stand to hearing rumors of alleged inappropriate behavior by a now former priest.
John Feeney was convicted in 2004 of molesting Troy and Todd Merryfield in May 1978.
The Merryfields are suing the diocese for fraud, saying it knew of the issues surrounding Feeney.
It was a startling moment in court Thursday when Msgr. Paul Koszarek admitted he heard rumors about John Feeney swimming nude with and showering with young boys in the early 1970's.
Koszarek was an episcopal vicar with the diocese in the '70s. That means he was a representative to the bishop of the diocese at the time, in charge of parishes in Green Bay and De Pere.
Koszarek testified he heard rumors of John Feeney's alleged behavior with young boys. Koszarek said he could not remember from whom he heard the rumors.
On cross examination, Koszarek was asked directly why he did nothing about the rumors.
"When you hear it and it was a rumor, why didn't you ask further, where did it come from, who did he do it with and what did you do to see if there was something there inappropriate?" asked Jeff Anderson, attorney for Todd Merryfield.
"Because of the nature of the rumor, I don't think I had a responsibility to investigate a rumor," Koszarek said.
Attorneys for the diocese say they will rest their case Friday morning.
Judge Nancy Krueger says closing arguments and deliberations will begin on Monday.
After almost 80 years, a piece of naval history is on its way home. A model of the Japanese luxury liner Hikawa Maru is being packed up in Manitowoc and returned to Japan.
Visitors to Green Bay's Neville Public Museum will soon see hours slashed. The county-owned attraction is cutting access starting the first of the year.
An 11-foot-long model of the Japanese passenger liner Hikawa Maru is being sent back to Japan after 34 years at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc.
Area volunteers are making a difference in the community this holiday season. At this time of the year, many people are looking for ways to help their neighbors. The Salvation Army is one of the many places where you can do just that.
For the second year in a row, St. Norbert College could house overflow of homeless people from the St. John the Evangelist shelter in Green Bay.
A memorial fund has been created for a Grand Chute firefighter killed in a weekend car crash.