Set for publication in tomorrow's Washington Post is yet another report in its continuing investigation of the scandals surrounding the former bishop of the West Virginia diocese:
Disgraced bishop spent $4.6 million on mansion that sold for only $1.2 million
After Bishop Michael J. Bransfield was banished from his post as head of the Catholic Church in West Virginia, the church-owned residence he had lived in was put up for sale. It was a historic 9,200-square-foot Colonial Revival-style house with five bay windows that was once known as Elmcrest. Bransfield had spent $4.6 million to restore it to his exacting taste.
The diocese did not hire a real estate agent, advertise the property’s sale online or hold an open house. Instead, as allegations of sexual and financial misconduct against Bransfield spilled into public view in June, the church sold the property to a wealthy Wheeling, W.Va., resident for $1.2 million.
Church officials said the private sale was a way to avoid paying commission to real estate agents, but it also had the effect of keeping the public from taking the full measure of Bransfield’s extravagance and excess.
Much of what follows documents that “extravagance” and how the home came to be sold so cheaply.
Thank God for coincidence: McKinley explains his purchase of the home
The article also details how the property came to be sold to David H. McKinley, the son of our local congressman:
After the church began investigating allegations of abuse brought by seminarians who had stayed in the bishop’s home, Bransfield retired abruptly in the fall of 2018.
As the home sat empty into the spring, David H. McKinley, the founder of a wealth management firm in Wheeling, said he approached the diocese about purchasing the home.
“My wife and I had been looking for a home for several years,” McKinley said in an interview. “The truth is, there are not a lot of homes of this size and with such characteristics in the Wheeling area. We happened to be in the right place at the right time.”
(Isn’t it funny how good luck seems to follow the well-connected rich?)
As with the previous Post articles on Bransfield, it is well-documented.
Since the front page of tomorrow’s Wheeling Intelligencer was probably put together on Thursday or Friday, we probably won’t read about this locally until Tuesday.