CHICAGO — The Archdiocese of Chicago has removed from ministry the former longtime superintendent of its Maryville Academy for troubled children while it investigates allegations he sexual abused minors.

The archdiocese says the allegations date to 2002-03 when Father John Smyth was completing a 33-year-tenure as superintendent of the academy in suburban Des Plaines. It says the Archdiocesan Office for Child Abuse Investigations and Review received the allegations, and they’ve been reported to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and the Cook County State’s Attorney.

Smyth’s attorney, Frank DiFranco, told the Chicago Tribune the accusations are false and that the men bringing them are looking for a payout from the Catholic Church.

Smyth retired from the priesthood in 2014.