Tevrizian declined to comment.
Lawyers for both sides said Tevrizian independently came up with the idea of redacting the hierarchy names. Raymond Boucher, the lead attorney for the victims, said the decision appeared to be an attempt to find some middle ground between his clients, who wanted all the files released without redactions, and the church, which argued that psychological records and other sensitive documents should be kept private.
"I think this was his compromise, almost as a carrot to the archdiocese," Boucher said.
When he announced his decision at a March 2011 hearing, Tevrizian said he was impressed with the reforms the church had made to prevent future abuse and worried that if he did not black out the names of archdiocese employees they would be subjected to the sort of "guilt by association" of the McCarthy era.
Some church officials who would have dealt with abuse claims remain in positions of power within the church.
Law enforcement officials have expressed interest in the documents. Shortly after the 2007 settlement, then-Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley said the personnel files would be key to an ongoing criminal investigation of the archdiocese's dealings with abuser priests. He said at the time that his prosecutors would not be able to move forward with the probe, then in its fifth year, until the files were released.
"We don't know what remaining points of the puzzle will be revealed," Cooley said then.
No one in the Los Angeles hierarchy has ever been charged criminally. A spokeswoman for newly installed Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey said the office remains eager to review the files.
At least one church official appears to have an ongoing concern about prosecution. At a deposition this year, Msgr. Richard Loomis, vicar for priests during Mahony's tenure, refused to answer questions about how he handled allegations against one priest who has since been criminally convicted, invoking his 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination. His attorney declined to comment.
One plaintiff's attorney, John Manly, pointed to the recent scandal at Penn State and noted that the university's independent report named school officials accused of covering up for Jerry Sandusky, including the university president and legendary football coach Joe Paterno.
"Imagine if they said we're going to exclude the names of those administrators who knew about his activities with children and did nothing. People would have had a fit," he said.
Times staff writer Ashley Powers contributed to this report.