A Greek Orthodox priest accused of embezzling church money to support a luxury lifestyle was a no-show in court Thursday, writes the Greek Reporter.
Father James Dokos missed his first court appearance because his car broke down.
When the court clerk called Dokos‘ case, his attorney appeared alone, saying the priest’s car broke down on the way.
“There were some travel problems, and as a result, we communicated that it’s rescheduled for Monday afternoon,” Dokos‘ attorney Patrick Knight said.
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 ChicagoTribune.
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.