A new internal report obtained by The Wall Street Journal reveals that Paul McSherry, a senior personnel supervisor at the U.S. Indian Health Service, protected a doctor accused of sexually abusing boys in 2009 and that the agency itself hid the identities of agency managers and leaders who the report shows did little or nothing when they themselves were warned about the abusers conduct. Pediatrician Stanley Patrick Weber, who was later convicted of sexually abusing Native American boys under his care at IHS facilities over two decades, was actually promoted and allowed to stay with the agency for another seven years while his accuser, pediatrician Mark Butterbrodt, was ultimately transferred to an agency hospital on the Canadian border, and quit a year later.
Despite pledges to hold its own accountable for their failures to stop Weber sooner, the IHS is still fighting to keep the names of officials like Mr. McSherry secret, citing privacy concerns. After the report, by contractor Integritas Creative Solutions LLC, was completed in January 2020, the U.S. government fought to conceal the findings from public view for more than 20 months. The new report says that Weber’s conduct at the IHS was an “open secret.” Newly hired nurses were warned to keep track of how long Weber was in exam rooms with boys as part of their training, it said. The report shows how rare efforts by Weber’s colleagues to flag his abuse—at stints in New Mexico, Browning, Mont., and finally Pine Ridge, S.D., spanning more than 20 years—often hit dead ends. Sometimes they were met with retaliation. An investigative committee appointed to look into Weber never interviewed any witnesses and didn’t pursue other evidence.