The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America said it is committed to transparency and accountability, following allegations about discrepancies in payroll and an overall crisis in the financial affairs of the Archdiocese.
In October 2017, the Archdiocese issued a statement saying that it is facing a severe and complex financial deficit that had been building for several years. Archbishop of America Demetrios also issued a statement on the financial crisis of the Archdiocese. The previous month, Jerry Dimitriou, Executive Director of Administration, had resigned from his post.
According to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America website, an independent accounting firm was called in December to review the finances of the Archdiocese. After several discrepancies were found, the accounting firm started investigating payroll and credit card expenses for the 5 year period between the beginning of 2013 and end of 2017. The review is still in progress.
Read the full statement by the Archdiocese below:
“The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America is committed to total transparency and accountability, so that through strict adherence to established governance, it may ensure its ability to meet the spiritual needs of the Faithful.
In December of last year, the Archdiocese engaged Kiwi Associates, an independent accounting firm, to launch a special review of Archdiocesan payroll records for 2016 and 2017. During their review, they identified specific payroll discrepancies associated with former staff of the Archdiocese.
“This discovery” stated His Grace, Bishop Andonios, Chancellor of the Archdiocese, “led the Archdiocese to immediately undertake a far closer inspection of its payroll and credit card expenses for the 5 year period between the beginning of 2013 and end of 2017. That separate investigation revealed significant and unprecedented irregularities,” the Bishop explained. “The investigation of these matters continues.”
Consistent with prior disclosures, beginning in April 2017, the Archdiocese implemented appropriate internal payroll controls with rigorous internal oversight and periodic independent reviews, now a permanent requirement. The Archdiocese had also adopted strict controls regarding the issuance and use of corporate credit cards.
“We shall pursue all available remedies to address the discrepancies but, while doing so, we have created far stronger audit and control procedures, additional oversight and strict reviews,” continued His Grace. “Those who would seek to divert attention from this serious issue by falsely accusing His Eminence, or others, of indifference in confronting the financial challenges facing the Archdiocese, ignore the facts while bringing no honor upon themselves,” he concluded.