The Rev. Marshall Vang, the dean of the cathedral, said Wednesdayhe was not aware of any local complaints against the Rev. J. EdwardPutnam, who led the Albany Episcopal Diocese's mother church between1993 and 1997. He also served as a chaplain for the state Assembly.
Putnam,66, recently admitted in a written statement that he engaged in"inappropriate conduct with minors" as rector of St. James EpiscopalChurch in Skaneateles, Onondaga County, between 1986 and 1993,according to the Post-Standard newspaper of Syracuse.
"I think if anything had developed, we would have learned about it long before this," Vang said.
The Putnam suspension is the second time in recent months that a former cathedral employee has admitted sexual wrongdoing.
CharlesL. Burks, former head of the cathedral's men and boys choir, admittedin July to receiving child pornography after a probe that authoritiessay began when he was accused last year in Syracuse of trying to spy onboys in a baseball stadium restroom.
Burks, 28, faces at leastfive years in federal prison and a misdemeanor state charge in OnondagaCounty. He resigned last June and now lives in Louisiana.
Putnamwas an unsuccessful Democratic candidate for Assembly in 2006, runningagainst incumbent William Barclay, a Republican who represents parts ofOnondaga and Oswego counties. News articles at the time describedPutnam as a father of three grown children who lived in Skaneateleswith his wife.
A 1993 Times Union article about Putnam's installation as dean included his "strong local connections."
"Heis a native of Hudson Falls in Washington County, while his wife, theformer Doreen Coulson, grew up in Mechanicville, where she attended St.Luke's Episcopal Church," the article said.
Putnam left Albany to become rector of Christ Church in Grosse Pointe, Mich., Vang said.
TheRev. Gladstone B. Adams, bishop of the Diocese of Central New York, gotthe first complaint about Putnam in May, a diocesan statement said.
Theinvestigation led to complaints by three more boys who filed affidavits"describing the abuse that occurred while they were adolescents."
Putnam,who retired from active ministry in 2004, was suspended by the bishopfor 20 years. Adams called his behavior "reprehensible," especially sobecause he was entrusted with the care of young people.
"Through his actions he has abused and betrayed that trust," the bishop said in a statement.
It is unclear if Putnam will face criminal counts. A call to the diocese was not returned.
Parry can be reached at 454-5057 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
for a listing of alternate locations.