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Democratic Catholic leader arrested on prostitution-related charges
Eric McFadden
Eric McFadden

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The former director of the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives for the governor of Ohio was arrested Wednesday for his involvement in an online prostitution ring.  Eric McFadden, who has also formerly served as the president of the organization Catholics for Faithful Citizenship and spokesperson for Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, will face seven prostitution-related charges tomorrow in court.

Eric McFadden, 46, the former head of the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives for Governor of Ohio, Ted Strickland, was arrested this morning and faces two counts of promoting prostitution, two counts of pandering obscenity involving a minor, two counts of pandering obscenity involving a nude minor and one count of compelling prostitution, Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien told the Springfield News-Sun.

The News-Sun also quoted Keith Daily, Governor Strickland’s press secretary who described the situation as “very sad, shocking and appalling.”

McFadden’s faith outreach has not been limited to the Ohio governor’s office.  In 2004, McFadden worked for Catholics for Kerry and in 2005, served as the president for the organization, Catholics for Faithful Citizenship.  In 2006, he was a spokesperson for Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, and more recently, he was Hillary Clinton’s lead Catholic outreach organizer as the State Faith & Values Outreach Director during the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. 

According to NBC 4 in Columbus, Ohio, detectives suspect McFadden was involved in a “hooker-review” site that led to the creation of a Brewery District brothel.

Police also believe that McFadden is a man they have been tracking who posts under the name “Toby.” Authorities have been searching for him over the past two months after busting a prostitution ring on Craigslist.

McFadden used complex encoded postings on Craigslist that would look like useless or corrupted data, in which he would embed the information of the woman available, the type of sex interaction she would be willing to perform and the place to meet her. Paradoxically, McFadden's code name in his transactions was "mcfaddencatholic."

CNA obtained copies of the postings, but since they contain names that may be real and actual addresses in the Columbus, OH area, they will not be made public.

Police also note that on McFadden’s online posts, he claimed to be the “guru” of prostitution in Columbus, Ohio.  He wrote reviews on prostitution services as well as advice on how not to get caught, reports NBC 4.

McFadden is scheduled to appear in court tomorrow.

Upon hearing of the arrest, the organization, Catholic Democrats reacted saying that it is “sad news” that a “committed Catholic Democrat” has been arrested under such accusations.

McFadden who has been a supporter of John Kerry, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama described his Catholic outreach in 2007 to PBS' Religion and Ethics Newsweekly as giving “a voice to Catholics so they can stand up and say, ‘I am a Catholic Democrat, and I’m proud and these are the principles that I believe in.’”

Additionally, he was a member of the Knights of Columbus and reached the 4th order.  Last year, he penned a letter to the Knights of Columbus asserting that Supreme Knight Carl Anderson was leading Catholics astray by suggesting that Catholics could not vote for pro-abortion candidates. 

“Carl Anderson should resign as Supreme Knight so the good work of the Knights of Columbus can continue without the stain of partisan politics," he wrote.

In 2008 McFadden also conducted an interview with Pepperdine University professor Doug Kmiec regarding his support for the pro-choice president-elect Barack Obama.

Other associates of McFadden could not be reached for immediate comment.


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