Documents show that Malone asked Smith to return to a treatment center in Philadelphia, but Smith initially pushed back, refusing to go. Other documents show Malone asking Smith to honor their "gentleman's agreement" requesting that he "refrain from public celebrations of the liturgy or other sacraments and from wearing clerical attire."
In 2015, Malone wrote in a letter to Vatican officials that Smith had groomed a young boy, refused to stay in a treatment center, faced repeated boundary issues, and been accused of inappropriate touching of at least four young men. However, in the same letter, Malone said that "On the basis of his cooperation in regard to regular counseling, I have granted Father Smith faculties to function as a priest in the Diocese of Buffalo."
That same year, the bishop wrote a letter of approval for Smith to serve as a priest on a cruise ship, explicitly clearing him for work with minor children.
In 2017, Malone assigned Smith as a "priest in residence" at a parish. The priest was suspended in 2018, after the diocese said it had received a new substantiated allegation of sexual abuse of a minor.
A second case reported by 7 Eyewitness News involves Fr. Robert Yetter, who until last week was pastor at St Mary's of Swormville.
At least three young men in 2017-2018 reported sexual advances by Yetter. Internal memos indicate that Yetter acknowledged at least one instance of inappropriate touching.
Auxiliary Bishop Edward Grosz met with Yetter after being informed of the accusations. He discussed sexual harassment with Yetter and referred him for counseling, then wrote that he considered the cases closed.
On Aug. 27, four days after the 7 Eyewitness News report, the diocese announced that it had received a new complaint against Yetter. It said that Bishop Malone had asked for and received his resignation as pastor of St. Mary's and had placed him on administrative leave while an investigation is carried out.
The 7 Eyewitness News reports include photographs of more than a dozen relevant documents, including chancery memos, emails from diocesan officials, and letters to and from Bishop Malone.
The Buffalo News reported Sept. 3 that the Diocese of Buffalo is still trying to determine who had leaked the confidential documents. The diocesan headquarters is increasing security measures, with new locks, security guards, identification badge requirements, video monitoring and a computer security analysis.