According to prosecutors, Greek Orthodox priest James Dokos will be charged with felony theft amid allegations that he pocketed more than $110,000 from a church trust fund, reports ChicagoTricune.com.
According to Wisconsin authorities and a criminal complaint, Rev. Dokos used a Milwaukee Greek-Orthodox church’s funds to pay personal expenses while he was serving there. A formal investigation into the case had been launched by the district attorney’s office in Milwaukee last September but Rev. Dokos was not charged then.
The investigation looks into how money was distributed from the trust fund set up to benefit the Annunciation Church in Milwaukee. Dokos oversaw the trust fund as pastor at Annunciation before being transferred to Glenview’s Saints Peter and Paul in 2012.
In 2013, James Gottreich, Parish Council President at Saints Peter and Paul Church in Glenview, Illinois, wrote to Metropolitan Iakovos, the head of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago, asking to suspend the Rev. James Dokos, until the conclusion of the criminal investigation.
Then, the Greek Orthodox Church of Chicago removed Gottreich from the parish council while Metropolitan Iakovos wrote in a statement that he was “astonished” by the Glenview parish council’s “inappropriate suspicion and deceitful maneuverings rather than the support of its own pastor in time of need.”
The lawyers of Chicago’s Metropolis conducted their own review of the administration and use of the trust fund without finding any wrongdoing.
“The Metropolis has reached the conclusion that the funds from the Franczak Trust were used in accordance with the provisions of the Trust, for the benefit of the Annunciation Church, or in accordance with the wishes of Margaret Franczak,” read Bishop Demetrios’ statement about the trust fund in question, which was left by Annunciation parishioners Ervin and Margaret Franczak to benefit the church’s cultural center.