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Scout President: Mistakes Were Made In Confidential Files

IRVING (CBSDFW.COM) - The Boy Scouts of America have for decades have held private files on individuals who came under suspicion for all kinds of misconduct, including claims of sexual abuse.

Did they use the list of people because the leaders were troubled? Or did they do it because they were trying to hide them?

Wayne Perry, the National President of the Irving-based Boy Scouts of America, spoke with members of the media about impending the release of their 'ineligible volunteer' files Monday, and said the purpose of the files were to keep people out of scouting.

He added that their system worked.

20,000 pages of documents are set to be released this week.  The files were collected to protect youth.  Were mistakes made?  Probably, says Perry.  But he apologized for the organization for making those mistakes, saying, "When you make those mistakes, admit those mistakes.  And more importantly, learn from those mistakes."

He says the ineligible leader files were an essential tool to protect boys, but that where incidents did occur and the BSA fell short, he said the organization was, "Profoundly sorry."

Asked if hiding and keeping the files were part of a secrecy 'culture' within the BSA, Perry said, "No Way!"

The file release is part of a court order from the Oregon Supreme Court investigating abuse claims in that state.

The Boy Scouts of America was founded in 1910.  They have been headquartered in Irving since 1979.

(© Copyright 2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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