October 29, 2005

Priest pleads guilty to theft to pay off his blackmailer

Salt Lake Tribune

The New York Times

A Roman Catholic priest has pleaded guilty to stealing $360,000 from his parish in Randolph, N.J., to pay a man who was said to be blackmailing him by threatening to reveal a sexual relationship the two had in the early 1980s.
The Rev. William N. Naughton, 61, pleaded guilty to theft by deception on Thursday in a Morris County court, said his lawyer, Peter Gilbreth.
Naughton, who is on an administrative leave from the Diocese of Paterson, became the pastor of the Resurrection Church of Randolph in 1990 and left in 2001 after church officials discovered that money was missing.
Naughton, who was previously a prison chaplain, has a doctorate in theological studies, an MBA in church management and a master's degree in divinity and theology, Gilbreth said.

Posted by kshaw at October 29, 2005 10:33 AM