Some parishioners are coming to the defense of Father Richard Fritz after he was forced to resign last month following an investigation into possible embezzlement of church funds. A gambling problem is blamed by police for Fritz allegedly taking $213,000 from St. Barbara in Colon and St. Mary's in Bronson since 2010. They say hundreds of dollars a day were spent on lottery tickets.
Parishioner Ann Ratkowski says right now, she's choosing not to believe the accusations faced by Reverend Richard Fritz.
Gerald Barnes attends St. Barbara and says Father Fritz had been very good to his small community.
Reverend Fritz had been at the helm of the church in Bronson since 1990 and also was the pastor in Colon since 1996.
The Diocese of Kalamazoo says Fritz admitted writing checks to himself, but had said it was to cover things that included medical expenses, taking parishioners to dinner, and vehicle expenses.