Cardinal names new head of archdiocesan Review Board

The Archdiocese of Boston announced May 21 that retired Rear Adm. Daniel E. O'Toole of Plymouth has been appointed as chair of the Archdiocese of Boston Review Board.

The current chair, Brother James Peterson, JD, JCD, will continue to serve as a member on the Review Board.

The Review Board is a confidential advisory committee that advises Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley in the assessment of complaints of child sexual abuse by a cleric and in his determination of the suitability of an accused cleric for ministry. The board may offer advice on all aspects of these cases; however, the role of the Review Board is not investigatory; the board reviews investigations that have been conducted by the Delegate for Investigations, an archdiocesan office composed of professional investigators.

O'Toole is the retired assistant judge advocate general of the Navy and is a former trial and appellate court judge. He has served in various roles involving the review and adjudication of crimes of sexual assault, sexual abuse and harassment, including as staff counsel to the prosecutors during the Navy Tailhook scandal. A the senior staff level, he worked to establish policies and best practices to combat sexual abuse and harassment in the Navy. While serving as a trial judge, O'Toole presided over murder, sexual assault, and espionage case. He later served as chief judge of the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals, which reviews felony cases involving Navy and Marine Corps service members, including crimes of sexual assault.

Following his 29 years of service in the Navy, O'Toole served as the circuit executive of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C., until his retirement in 2016. He and his wife, Anne, are members of St. Peter Parish in the Pilgrim Catholic Collaborative of Plymouth.