Archdiocese hires firm to investigate Nienstedt after allegations of inappropriate conduct

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The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is investigating its leader for alleged misconduct.

Archbishop John Nienstedt says in a statement Tuesday that he ordered the investigation after the allegations surfaced. He didn't detail their nature but calls them "absolutely and entirely false."

Nienstedt's statement came after the investigation was first reported online Tuesday by Commonweal, a Catholic publication.

Nienstedt told the journal that he'd been accused by a former priest of inappropriately touching the man's neck. Nienstedt told Commonweal he has "never engaged in sexual misconduct."

In his statement, Nienstedt said the accusations refer to alleged events at least a decade ago. He also said they don't involve allegations of activity with minors or illegal behavior.

The archdiocese hired an outside firm to investigate.