At an Aug. 26 news conference, Bishop Richard J. Malone announced that the Diocese of Buffalo would establish a new Office of Professional Responsibility. Its mission would be to review the Diocesan Code of Conduct, strengthen it wherever necessary, and enforce it.
The bishop is pleased to announce the appointment of Steven L. Halter as director of professional responsibility for the diocese. Halter, who previously served as a special agent in the Buffalo office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, will begin his new position on Monday, Oct. 1.
Halter's new duties will include investigating complaints of clergy or employee sexual abuse and misconduct, financial mismanagement or malfeasance, serving as a consultant to the Diocesan Review Board, and preparing reports for possible judicial or management action in the event of misconduct. Halter will also serve as a resource for pastors, pastoral administrators, principals, and other church leaders throughout the diocese.
The East Amherst law enforcement official was a special agent in the FBI for over 27 years and has extensive experience conducting complex investigations and full-scale law enforcement operations. He has managed multiple facets of national and international white collar crime investigations and intelligence gathering including public corruption and financial fraud matters. Halter, most importantly, has experience in investigations involving crimes against children.
As a member of the Buffalo FBI Evidence Response Team, Halter assisted in the investigation of the 9/11 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center and also the bombing of the USS Cole in Aden, Yemen.
A graduate of St. Bonaventure University, Special Agent Halter trained at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va., and is well versed in organizational leadership, strategy development, investigations, crisis management and compliance.
Prior to joining the FBI, Halter was a senior accounting officer at Empire of America Federal Savings Bank, Buffalo, N.Y.