BUFFALO, N.Y. — An Erie County legislator previously outspoken in saying the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo was negligent in investigating priests accused of sexual abuse now is calling on the bishop to resign.

Pat Burke stated that Bishop Richard Malone should step down, citing accusations and accounts of abuse as well what he said was a lack of transparency.

The statement reads, in full:

“I believe we have only scratched the surface of the problem,” said Burke. “In just the past several months, the story has grown from reports of a few isolated incidents, to reports that the local diocese knew about this issue for decades and intentionally hid the truth from parishioners and the public at large. Their silence perpetuated sexual crimes against children. If any other organization were responsible for conspiring to hide pedophiles among its ranks, the public would demand the immediate resignations of anyone in leadership. The time has come for Bishop Malone to step down. Our community needs a full accounting of what happened here.”

Burke was later joined by Rep. Brian Higgins: 

Buffalo Common Council Member Chris Scanlon joined in the calls for Malone to resign, saying he "knowingly and repeatedly put children in danger, he should resign immediately."

The Station of the Cross, Buffalo's Catholic radio station, also echoes calls for Malone to step down. 

Following a scathing report by a Pennsylvania grand jury on Catholic Clergy sex abuse, other states are looking to further investigate their own diocese. 

"The attorney general office called me up last week and they are exploring the possibility of doing a joint investigation with various D.A's offices across the state," said Erie County District Attorney John Flynn. "So we've had a number of conversations on how logistically we are going to do that."