Kevin T. Reynolds has begun duties as the administrator of the Lay Review Board for the archdiocese.
The appointment, which took effect Feb. 24, followed a recommendation by Judge Barbara S. Jones, the independent reviewer and special counsel for the archdiocese, that the archdiocese hire a person whose sole responsibility is to oversee its response to sexual abuse complaints.
Reynolds, 61, a lawyer, most recently served as senior vice president, human resources and chief legal officer of Penn Mutual Life Insurance Co., where he was also an advisor to the company’s board of trustees and executive team.
He spoke with CNY at his office at the New York Catholic Center in Manhattan March 2, one week into the job.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to be here,” said Reynolds, who is Catholic, of his role in service to the Church. “It’s important work, it’s difficult work, and I’m very happy to be part of it. It’s going to be challenging work, no question about it.”
“I’ve been incredibly impressed by the dedication of the people to the process here,” he said, as well as the “prominence and the importance” that it is given in the archdiocese, “and the dedication to get it right here.”
His 35-year law career includes 28 years in various positions within corporations. Reynolds said “a big part of my job” in that realm has been “problem solving, counseling and helping people to reach the best conclusion in difficult situations.”
“Thankfully,” he added, “I can bring a lot of those skills that I’ve learned throughout my years as a lawyer, to the Review Board in this difficult situation.”
Acknowledging other attributes, namely his organizational skills and experience on various boards of directors, Reynolds said he is cognizant of what senior management and directors need in a corporate environment “and my goal is to make sure that I provide that to the Review Board.”
His first week was spent “learning the process” and the details therein. Reynolds commended the guidance of Edward Mechmann, director of the archdiocesan Safe Environment Office, and James McCabe, general counsel for the archdiocese.
Additionally, he has reached out to members of the Review Board.
“There are a number of moving parts to it, and just learning sequentially, how things are going to happen in the board process,” he said, “and just where I can add value” are important aspects.
“My job is somewhat like a corporate secretary to the board,” Reynolds said, “to gather the evidence, and bring everything together, so that the board can do its job, in that it has everything before it that it needs to make its recommendations and make its determinations in doing its job.”
The recommendation was part of a report Judge Jones, a retired federal judge, presented at a press conference at the New York Catholic Center Sept. 30, a year after she was appointed in 2018 by Cardinal Dolan to study how the archdiocese deals with any accusation about an alleged abuse of a young person. Her job has been to help enhance and strengthen the archdiocese’s protocols for accusations of inappropriate behavior by anyone abusing his or her position of authority.
Reynolds is a husband and a father of two grown sons, and a member of St. Denis parish in Manasquan, N.J.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Cathedral College of the Immaculate Conception and a juris doctor degree from St. John’s University School of Law.