By Pat Loeb, Jim Osman and Dave Huddleston
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Baseball Hall of Fame sports columnist Bill Conlin of the Philadelphia Daily News retired abruptly Tuesday after learning that he’s been accused of molesting underage children decades ago.
“(The feeling in the newsroom) was an overwhelming sense of shock, a sense of outrage, a sense of sadness,” said Larry Platt, editor of the Philadelphia Daily News.
Conlin is alleged to have molested at least four children (one man and three women, including Conlin’s niece), in the 1970’s, when the children were then between the ages of seven and 12.
George Bochetto, Conlin’s attorney, denounced the accusations Tuesday.
“Mr. Conlin is obviously floored by the allegations, which supposedly happened 40 years ago. He has engaged me to do everything possible to bring the true facts forward and to vindicate his name,” Bochetto said. “He has resigned from the Daily News because these accusations have nothing to do with the Daily News and that’s his beloved institution.”
The Daily News confirmed that Conlin retired.
Conlin has worked for the Daily News since 1965, after five years with the Evening Bulletin. According to his Daily News biography, he has covered 37 World Series, six Olympics, five Wimbeldons, and more. For his work, he received an honor from the Baseball Hall of Fame this summer.
“I am sickened by these allegations,” said Greg Osberg, CEO of the Philadelphia Media Network.
Authorities say there is little they can do now as the allegations are from decades ago.