April 13, 2006

The Reason Pilla Left?

Cleveland Scene

When Richard Lennon was named the new bishop of Cleveland's Catholic Diocese last week, a Plain Dealer headline noted that "Lennon has always said yes when asked to do tough jobs." His new job may be his toughest yet.

Though Lennon, a Boston auxiliary bishop, was in the midst of that diocese's massive pedophile scandal, he'll face a new round of problems in Cleveland: the impending indictments of church financial officials.

The U.S. Attorney's Office is reportedly in the midst of an investigation that may involve significant improprieties. Church officials have been accused of creating off-the-book accounts -- some as large as $400,000 -- for their personal use. They also allegedly asked outside contractors to overbill the diocese, then redirect the excess payments to church officials and their designates.

Finally, there is speculation that certain contracts may have benefited the relatives of church leaders, and that "lady friends" of priests were supported by church money, though this could not be confirmed.

Posted by kshaw at April 13, 2006 08:04 AM