Wednesday, November 29, 2017

St. Nicholas Shrine, $, and a Special Investigative Committee

If money was used for something other than the Ground Zero location, this is going to make international front page news. It is also going to outrage Greek archdiocesan laity all over the US who were reminded emphatically and constantly to support this project. The pressure on clergy to get the money to the chancery to fund this was also not insignificant.

NEW YORK – The Executive Committee of the Archdiocesan Council of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America formed an independent Special Investigative Committee (the “Special Investigative Committee”) related to St. Nicholas National Shrine, at a special meeting on November 21, 2017. The Executive Committee, which includes the Archbishop, the Holy Eparchial Synod and lay members, determined that it is in the best interests of the Archdiocese and Her faithful to form this Special Investigative Committee to investigate and evaluate expenditures related to (1) the St. Nicholas Shrine construction project, and (2) the potential use of certain St. Nicholas Shrine restricted funds for the payment of Archdiocesan general operating expenses. This special committee will make a report of its findings and recommendations to the Executive Committee, which will share the results of the investigation and recommendations with, among others, the legal and audit committees.

The Executive Committee appointed the following individuals to serve on the Special Investigative Committee: Mr. George Canellos, Esq., Mr. Nikiforos Mathews, Esq., Mr. Dennis Mehiel, and Mr. John Pappajohn.

Authorized to engage independent advisors, including its own independent legal counsel, and independent accountant or audit firm if deemed necessary, the Special Investigative Committee has been given full authority to contact, obtain information from and consult with the Archdiocese’s current and former officers, employees, volunteers and contractors, in connection with any matters within its review. It has been asked to provide a preliminary report within ninety days and periodic updates, thereafter. BakerHostetler and PwC will serve as independent legal counsel and independent accountants, respectively.


  1. Not just "Greek Archdiocesan laity". My OCA parish made a donation, and I think I recall even a synagogue made a donation.

  2. This doesn't strike me as all that "independent." An independent investigation is when the Archbishop hires an outside legal firm and gives them carte blanche to go wherever the evidence takes them and then steps back until the investigation is over.

  3. "Authorized to engage independent advisors, including its own independent legal counsel, and independent accountant or audit firm if deemed necessary..." We shall see.