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09.25.06 Part Two of A Three Part Series
The Metropolitan's Interview:

"Questions on Trust "

In the second section of his recent interview, answering questions submitted to Protodeacon Peter Danilchick (read the whole interview here), subtitled “Questions on Trust”, Metropolitan Herman asks the rhetorical question: “In a normal family, someone does something wrong – so should everything fall apart?“ He then proceeds to answer that question:

“I don’t believe that trust has been completely broken. However, we will work to ensure that whatever has in fact been lost will be regained and that we will be worthy of that trust because we have earned it. When the investigation is over, we will see who can be trusted and who can’t.“

The Metropolitan then asserts:

“...I am not guilty of any wrongdoing except kindness to and trust in others and not taking greater and more immediate action.”

In fact, as the following documents show, the Metropolitan was not an idle bystander to the initial cover-up that followed the revelation of secret accounts and the diversion of ADM and Andreas Foundation monies. He was a participant who did indeed take immediate action. It may have been done in kindness to Fr. Kondratick - for the Metropolitan is godfather to Fr. Kondratick’s son - but it was clearly wrong. And in so doing, has surely broken the trust we have placed in him; and may have forfeited it altogether.

The Autumn of 1999

As described in Part One of this series, the dismissal of Protodeacon Eric Wheeler as Treasurer on September 29, 1999, and the appointment of then-Archbishop Herman as Acting Treasurer that same day, removed the immediate threat to Metropolitan Theodosius and Fr. Kondratick. But it did nothing to address the longer term problem that disclosure of their secret discretionary accounts, the diversion of the ADM/Andreas monies, the AMEX bills, and the other credit card accounts would create should they be investigated. Indeed, that problem became current again when, in early October 1999, OCA Audit Committee Chair John Kozey went public with the growing scandal by sending a letter to all members of the OCA’s Metropolitan Council.

One month later, in November 1999, the Metropolitan Council gathered in New York. Except for his prepared opening speech, Metropolitan Theodosius remained silent during the entire meeting. The usually jovial Fr. Kondratick was silent as well. Business was handled by the Acting Treasurer, +Herman. In the words of the OCA press release that followed the meeting:

“Financial questions reviewed, year 2000 budget passed. Questions involving the OCA’s financial situation were also reviewed in detail by Metropolitan Council members. His Eminence, Archbishop Herman, Acting Treasurer, reported on the status of the financial audit, noting that some questions had arisen with regard to the Metropolitan’s Discretionary Fund. “

The Council was told by +Herman that a review of the discretionary accounts would be undertaken by attorneys. But + Herman refused to name the attorneys or name the accounting firm handling the review, or even to state whether such a review was currently underway or not - despite repeated questioning by one member. The normally compliant Council accepted the refusal, however, and agreed to wait until the next meeting, in April 2000, to hear the results upon hearing the Primate and Archbishop pledge: “We will do what is right, and we will do it in the right way”.

Well, not quite.

The Rock E-Mails

Six E-mails and one fax from Las Vegas entrepreneur Richard Rock (RGR)* to Fr. Kondratick between November 1999 and February 2000, obtained by OCANews, detail by whom and how this “review” of the discretionary accounts was done. They also reveal who was involved.

-------------------------

#1

Date: Fri, 19 Nov. 1999 07:52:34 -0000
From: Richard Rock <RGDIROMA@email.msn.com>
To: Robert Kondratick <RSK@OCA.Org.

Dear Father Robert,

We have not heard from you regarding your arrival dates, so we are going to make this very simple for

you. . .

In order that we may proceed with our work it is imperative for you to be here on Sunday evening November 21st, departing on Tuesday November 23rd.

You will need to be here at least 24 hours without interruption.

If this is impossible then you will have to inform his Beatitude, Archbishop Herman and whomever else that the process will not be completed until sometime in February, because of the Thanksgiving Holidays, your trip to Russia, our schedule, the schedule of the accountant, Christmas and New Year Season.

Please have someone notify us as to your itinerary.

Thank you,
RGR
11/19/99
----------------------------------------

*Richard Rock, together with business partner William Turbey were involved in liturgical firm of Martintez & Murphey, well-known to OCA clergy as the provider of vestments, as well as set design and icons for All American Councils. Close friends, as well as business associates, of the Kondraticks, Fr. Kondratick began serving as a director of Martinez & Murphey in October 1987, shortly before he was appointed Chancellor of the OCA.

Former OCA Secretary Paul Hunchak describes their role at the 1999 Pittsburgh All American Council in assisting Fr. Kondratick in keeping a lid on the growing scandal:

“The All American Council in Pittsburgh in August 1999 was so hard for me, because I knew the game was afoot. The team of Richard Rock and William Turbey (a co-worker dubbed them the “ecclesiastical tailors”) were running around in the background, writing letters, arranging the cover-up, and a newly-hired Church employee (Fr. David Brum, now Secretary to the Metropolitan) was also writing, trying to change the Statute behind the scenes. Meanwhile, the Council was happily going on as if nothing was happening, because no one knew what was really going on...”

When Martinez &Murphey, as well as Rock & Turbey’s next venture in California went bankrupt, the pair emerged in Las Vegas, where they continued to serve as intermediaries for the OCA Chancery in various business dealings.

--------------------------------------
#2

Date: Wed, 29 Dec 1999 08:20:46 -0800
From: Richard Rock <RGDIROMA@email.msn.com>
To: Robert Kondratick <RSK@OCA.Org.

Dear father (sic) Bob,

I understand you are waiting for information for me to complete my work.

1.
I am not certain what sort of game this is but I need a microfiche copy of every deposit made into the account since January 1, 1996 through June 30, 1999. The bank is quite capable of retrieving this information. Kindly place the order for that information, in writing, with the bank as stated above, immediately.

2.
I have forwarded to you, on a number of occasions a list of 20 credit cards for which I have no names and no statements. I need a list of names and you need to order all statements for those cards from period 1/1/96 - 6/30/99.

I believed this was perfectly clear on December 17th. Now 12 days later you don’t know what is needed - what’s that all about?

Thank you,

RGR

-----------------------------------------

#3

Date:Wed, 5 Jan 2000 08:05;02 -0800
From: Richard Rock <RGDIROMA@email.msn.com>
To: Robert Kondratick <RSK@OCA.Org.

January 5, 2000AD

Father Bob,

I received a fax from Metropolitan Theodosius instructing us to proceed with the finalization of the new accounting without any additional information.

(If it was you who lobbied Abp Herman to get this done, then you are finally catching on to how this should have gone from the beginning. This is how the bishops need to exercise their ultimate authority. FINALLY!)

RGR

-----------------------------------------------

#4

Date:Mon, 17 Jan 2000 11:20;34 -0800
From: Richard Rock <RGDIROMA@email.msn.com>
To: Robert Kondratick <RSK@OCA.Org.

Monday

Dear Bobby,

We are back and I am sicker than a dog.
I braved the elements and the events so as not to miss anything, but today I’m down for the count.
With a little rest today - tomorrow should be fine and BACK TO THE GYM!!

Thanks for everything.

Did you get the rate at the Marriott or is the rate on the screen the rate get charged?
Is it the points that make it worthwhile or do they discount your bills?

Today I will work on a “Statement” which I will work with Michael Kennedy.* But Bob - you have to let it go. Your badgering and casting doubt makes people nervous - STOP already.

The very reason we fought to go this route rather than the July 8th route* is precisely to insure that all of this is INTERNAL and so the government would not AND could not get into this - no matter what anyone said. STOP making yourself nervous. When you look nervous AND ACT GUILTY you cause everyone to ask more UNNECESSARY questions. If you go beyond what the lawyer said - you will get in trouble. If you continue to allow the staff, the Metropolitan Council, the Church Administration, Jonathan Russin and Rob Taylor* THINK they have some authority - then they will ruin you. They have NO authority in fact. All of the abovementioned are either advisory and/or employees. Get that straight.

The July 30 resolution of the Holy Synod of Bishops* is actually a formal Amendment to the Statutes of the Church.

They are in charge.

Tell Herman, if you want, that a formal public statement is forthcoming approved by the lawyer. Anything beyond it will create problems.

Call.

Richard

_________________________________

*Michael Kennedy Esq. is a criminal defense attorney with offices on Park Avenue in Manhattan hired by Metropolitan Theodosius to represent him personally, as distinguished from the OCA, in the matter of the secret discretionary accounts.

*The July 8th route refers the agreement between Kondratick, Wheeler, Jonathan Russin ( OCA legal counsel) and Kozey made on July 8th, 1999 whereby Russin would select an independent accounting firm to review Kondratick’s and Theodosius’ secret accounts. This was not done.

* Rob Taylor was the Accountant from Lambrides, Lamos and Malthroup who had audited the OCA books for years and brought the discrepancy concerning ADM to the attention of John Kozey, chair of the OCA Audit Committee.

*The July 30th Resolution of the Holy Synod refers to a decision taken on that date in 1999, immediately prior to the Pittsburgh All American Council, not to allow any investigations into the discretionary accounts of the Metropolitan or those under him (such as the Chancellor).
-------------------------------------------

#5

Date:Wed, 19 Jan 2000 07:00:44 -0800
From: Richard Rock <RGDIROMA@email.msn.com>
To: Robert Kondratick <RSK@OCA.Org.

Dear Bob,

Good morning.

Today, I believe you have to begin a new tactic.

We, as you know were destroyed because of a very real conspiracy to do us in. Because we were naive and trusting it got us.

There IS a real conspiracy out there to do you in, and it is not remote, its (sic) close - and they are doing you in because of your own mouth. Everything that comes into your mind - you tell someone or multiple persons. You are very trusting but you must put that in check. Stop talking, start strategizing and watch your back - from EVERYONE. This will impose an increased paranoia, but the end justifies the means.

I am very serious about this PLEASE pay attention to me.
R

------------------------------------------------

#6

Date:Wed, 26 Jan 2000 07:45:20 -0800
From: Richard Rock <RGDIROMA@email.msn.com>
To: Robert Kondratick <RSK@OCA.Org.

Good Morning Bobby,

It was great speaking with you yesterday - you sound good.

PLEASE - let Strikis* know who he is responsible to. Perhaps he should be given a CLEARLY spelled out Job Description with all of the lines of authority, responsibility and accountability delineated so there are never again any REFUSALS from Strikis. He is SIMPLY a functionary and not a judge. If you would like I can whip up a Job Description in MINUTES! But it must be done - not just for him - but to re-establish your authority. When you tell him to explain in writing to the Metropolitan his reasons for refusing Kucynda - you have crippled yourself even more and you have given him an open forum to expound upon his self-righteous determinations. He should be ORDERED, by you, to cut the checks for Kucynda at once. Playing games only allows these people to have MORE power over you. Stop already.

Have a nice day.

R

______________________________

*Strikis: refers to Fr. Stephen Strikis, the comptroller of the OCA.

-------------------------------------

#7

The following is a transcript of a handwritten note on a fax cover sheet from the New York Marriott Marquis, 1535 Broadway, New York City, New York 100036 (212) 398-1900.

Date: February 15th 2000

To: Fr. Bob

Number of pages including cover sheet 3

Fax Number: 1 -516-922-0954

From: RGR

Comments: Father Bob,

I need to bring to Las Vegas, a check from the discretionary fund for $27,250.00 made out to David Chesnoff, Esq.* for (Steinbeck-accounting-meetings.-expenses -etc) This is not a legal fee. John S. wants me to confirm payment with him by phone today. (These folks are tough!) BE GOOD and see attached. “The wolves” are at the door! R

_____________

*David Chesnoff Esq. is a criminal defense lawyer in Las Vegas hired by Fr. Kondratick to represent him personally, as distinguished from the OCA, in the matter of the secret discretionary accounts. Until recently Chesnoff was best known as the legal partner of Las Vegas mayor, Oscar Goodman. (Chesnoff & Goodman, A Professional Corporation). Known as one of the preeminent organized crime attorneys in the United States according to press reports, prior to being elected mayor of Las Vegas, Goodman made his reputation and fortune defending mob associates while Chesnoff defended drug suspects. Chesnoff's more recent celebrity clients include Brittany Spears and Martha Stewart.

----------------------------------------------

Mission Accomplished

As the E-mails reveal, there was no intention of ever following the agreed on procedures: neither with the July 8th route, nor with the promises made to the Metropolitan Council. There was no thorough “review” of existing materials: there was only what Rock refers to as the "new accounting".

There was no review, only a calculated attempt to deceive the Synod, the Metropolitan Council, the OCA Auditors, and the OCA as a whole by using "new accounting", personal lawyers and multiple private accountants arranged by them so as to be shielded by attorney-client privileges to cover-up the lack of the promsied review.

And it worked.

The Kennedy Letter

In January 2000 Michael Kennedy Esq. wrote to Archbishop Herman that all was well. The letter follows:

Your Eminence:

As you know, this office represents His Beatitude Metropolitan Theodosius personally. We are aware of the auditing process of the OCA’s general administrative accounts presently being performed by the Lambrides accounting firm. We are also aware that the private discretionary funds of the Primate, according to the Holy Synod’s resolution of 30, July 1999, are not subject to that general accounting audit. However, Metropolitan Theodosius has asked us to have a review of the discretionary funds performed by an independent accounting firm and to report the results of that review to you, as Treasurer of the OCA.

Consequently, at the request of and on behalf of Metropolitan Theodosius I have retained the services of an independent certified public accounting firm, Hein + Associates LLP to review the discretionary funds of the primate of the OCA for the years 1996, 1997, and 1998.

I am please to inform you that Hein+ Associates has completed its review and has reported to me that after reviewing the Statements of Cash Receipts and Disbursements of the Discretionary Funds, In accordance with Statements on Standards for the Accounting and Review Services issued by the American Institute of CPA’s, there are no material modifications that should be made to the Statement of Cash Receipts and Disbursements of the Discretionary Funds in order for them to be in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles.

If you have any questions with reference to this matter, please contact me.

Sincerely

Michael Kennedy

cc: Metropolitan Theodosius
Hein+ Associates
David Chesnoff, Esq.

What does this statement, worked on by Rock and Kennedy for +Herman, really say?

Nothing.

It says nothing about the validity of the disbursements or any review of them: only that the materials supplied by Kondratick to Chesnoff and his secret accountants via Rock had been reviewed by yet another accountant who found that the partial records provided met “with generally accepted accounting principles”.

The key here is that the Rock E-mails make clear that there were two sets of accountants: the first, unidentified, who helped Rock put together partial records into "new accounting" so that the second, Hein + Associates, could publicly state that they received materials “ in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles.” Only in this way could the deception of the “review” work, without any review being done.

And work it did. Metropolitan Theodosius reported to the Metropolitan Council in April 2000 that:

“At the recent meeting of the Holy Synod, Archbishop Herman, Acting Treasurer of the Orthodox Church in America, reported that the Audit Committee had met and had concluded the audits for fiscal years 1997 and 1998. It was also reported that an independent CPA firm had completed its summary review of the Metropolitan’s Discretionary Account for 1997 and 1998 and has already begun the review for 1999. The Holy Synod approved the actions taken concerning the financial audits for 1997 and 1998 and the summary review of the Discretionary Account of the Primate of the Orthodox Church in America for the same years. Thus, all of the discretionary funds of which I am Chief Steward have been reviewed and properly accounted for by an independent certified public accounting firm.”

Although, upon close reading that was not what the Kennedy letter said, and not what was done, the deception worked.

The whole issue of the ADM funds, the secret discretionary accounts and the "review, the Metropolitan declared, was “closed”.

The Role of Metropolitan Herman

And in retrospect, the cover-up was there for all to see. Metropolitan Theodosius stated in his April 2000 report quoted above that “... the CPA firm has already begun the review for 1999.” But Kennedy’s letter says that accounts were reviewed for 1996, 1997, 1998. He does not mention anything about 1999. If not Hein+ Associates, to whom was the Metropolitan referring?

The only mention of any review of 1999 materials is in Richard Rock’s E-mail #2 to Father Kondratick. In retrospect, Theodosius himself confirmed a cover-up to us all, if we had only been listening. But it does not excuse the attempt.

It is all well and good for Metropolitan Herman to now lament, as he does to Protodeacon Danilchick:
“We can’t blame the Metropolitan Council or the Holy Synod. We were all given financial reports that looked in order. In retrospect we should have asked many more questions and dug more deeply into the numbers.”

But such a lament is disingenuous, as the other Rock

E-mails reveal, when you are assisting in the cover-up.

The Sad Truth

The misleading of the Synod, the Metropolitan Council, and the OCA as a whole, about the events and actions taken regarding the secret accounts and the ADM/Andreas Foundation monies by using a network of business associates, attorneys and multiple accountings firms by former Metropolitan Theodosius, Fr. Kondratick and then-Archbishop Herman is only now becoming fully clear. But the truth is no less damaging for having been delayed.

Metropolitan Herman has stated to Protodeacon Danilchick, and through his special section on the OCA website to the entire OCA that: “When the investigation is over, we will see who can be trusted and who can’t.“
Whatever his reasons for acting the way he did in 1999 – and then continuing the cover-up for six more years as Fr. Kondratick’s administration continued to divert charitable and appeal funds – the Rock E-mails make the answer to the Metropolitan’s statement clear. Two men, the former Metropolitan and the former Chancellor, are at the heart of this scandal. But as their very own Em-mails demonstrate, they had help in the cover-up from an Archbishop, now Metropolitan, named Herman.

The Metropolitan stated in his interview: “It is not really who is in the leadership positions but how that leadership responsibility is acted upon.” We now have a much clearer picture of how this Metropolitan has acted.

-Mark Stokoe

 
     
 

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