St. Paul financial director fired, under investigation for fraud

The former financial director of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has recently been terminated after the Church has accused him of white-collar crimes. While the Archdiocese doesn’t have the ability to file criminal charges for the suspected credit card fraud, officials with the Archdiocese have turned over their findings to the police, reports Minnesota Public Radio.

Anyone under investigation for white-collar crimes is protected by certain rights that the police or any government official can’t infringe upon. Many of these rights, however, do not need to be respected by private organizations, such as the Catholic Church or the Archdiocese. Constitutional rights restrict how and when police can search and gather information to use in a criminal investigation or trial. Although it is unclear what information the Archdiocese supposedly turned up on the former financial director, it is possible that they gave the police information that the police might otherwise NOT have been able to retrieve.

Other sources report that the 51-year-old director was previously put on leave, but it was only recently that he was fired in connection with the Archdiocese’ investigation. The St. Paul Police Department has taken over the case and they have confirmed that they are investigating the matter, but it is unclear if or when they plan on filing formal charges against the former director.

The Archdiocese recently released a statement informing parishioners of the termination, saying that the amount of money taken will not ultimately affect the coffers. The Church also asserted that most of the money would be covered by insurance.

Source: Minnesota Public Radio, “Archdiocese employee fired over credit card irregularities,” Nancy Lebens, March 8, 2012

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