5.26.06 Latest News
+Tikhon Reveals Audit Result:
"No Receipts Found" With Two Exceptions: A $250,000 Promissory Note And
A $5,600 Reimbursement for a Vegas Trip
In a series of middle-of-the-night postings early Wednesday, May 24, and again late Thursday
evening May 25, Bishop Tikhon has revealed details of the Spring Session of the OCA's Synod of Bishops whose (public) minutes are now posted on the OCA website. (Read the Minutes here)
+Tikhon's report is shocking, even in the context of the OCA scandal, for they include the first look at the 2004 audit which has yet to be released, and revelations of a previously undisclosed promissory note to Fr. Robert Kondratick for $250,000 signed by former Metropolitan Theodosius and prominent former and current members of the Administrative Committee of the OCA's Metropolitan Council.
What may be even more surprising is not what Bishop Tikhon reveals, but what the Minutes and Bishop Tikhon both fail to mention: the 2005 audit and the Proskauer Rose investigation.
At the beginning of Lent the Metropolitan himself suggested that the Spring Session would see both the 2004 and 2005 audits, as well as the report on the Proskauer Rose investigation. OCANews has confirmed that was not the case. The Synod was not made privy to anything concerning Proskauer Rose's investigation, neither the status of the investigation, the costs, nor even who will get the report. From other sources who wish to remain anonymous, OCANews can confirm that the investigation remains on-going.
Why only the 2004 audit was presented to the Synod, and not the 2005 audit remains a mystery
+Tikhon On The Audit
In a posting to the OrthodoxChristianity forum, +Tikhon wrote:
"Christ is risen! Indeed, He is risen!
There is no evidence that anyone has cheated anyone out of anything. If receipts cannot be found for the money given to intended recipients of charitable donations, that is a problem called 'no receipts were found.' It does not prove or suggest or indicate that money did not (reach?) recipients. .....
No evidence of wrong-doing has been presented to the Orthodox Church in America to date by the independent outside auditors, according to the independent outside auditor from that independent outside auditing firm who reported to the Holy Synod in person. I asked him outright, and rephrased the question various ways and he agreed that what I am saying to you right now is the truth. I even told the Secretary of the Holy Synod to record my question and the answer to it in the official minutes of our Holy Synod meeting.
Today, the Secretary of the Holy Synod read the minutes of the Holy Synod so far recorded by him for out [SIC] approval and comments. I noticed that he seemed to have left out the statement that I requested be placed in the official meeting. [SIC--should be "minutes"]
He then began to shuffle through his notes and said that he couldn't find the paper on which he had written that down. I asked to whom he had given his written notes, and he answered that he had given them to Father Paul Kucynda. He left the meeting to try and go find the page and it could not be located. So he asked me to repeat my question to which the auditor gave his 'Yes ,that is correct' answer and that the Secretary of the Holy Synod copied it down ****again*** and read it back.
Then we continued with the last few minutes of the Spring Session of the Holy Synod, sang 'Shine, Shine' and the meeting was adjourned. Four Bishops could not stay and left immediately for airports without lunch".
+Tikhon on the Promissory Note
The Bishop continued:
"After a couple of highly placed persons in the Central Administration had said that they had never seen any
promissory note whereby the Administrative Committee had promised to reimburse the former Chancellor
annually, beginning in 2002, for $250,000 dollars of work on the church-owned residence in Syosset, work
done at the direction of the Metropolitan Council and for which all receipts and invoices were on file in the
Administrative offices, that is, after maintenance work was done at the request of the OCA for work on the
OCA?s house by the Kondraticks,
and after the work was done and the OCA could not pay the Kondraticks, because Matushka had paid for it herself out of the money left to her in a family bequest, they issued a promissory note for $250,000 dollars which ***promised*** them pay back in annual installments beginning in 2002. The promissory note was signed by all members of the Administrative Committee, Metropolitan Theodosius, Father Dimitri Oselinsky, Father Paul Kucynda, Alice Woog, JUDGE Harold Kalina, and Father Paul Kucynda a second time, and the signatures were notarized . (Emphasis in original.)
The fact that no one, the Metropolitan included, could locate such a document in the Syosset files (Father
Kondratick is NOT the file clerk nor was he ever the file clerk) and that the Metropolitan had, prior to our Holy
Synod meeting, been quoted publicly as saying that he?d never seen any promissory note, and since he repeated that more than once out loud, directly to me at this meeting, and since I said that I would be happy to give him a copy, the Secretary of the Holy Synod asked me to give him a copy. And I gave him my copy (It?s not the only copy or I would never have surrendered it in these days) he took it and recorded it in his minutes, OUR minutes."
+Tikhon Covers His Back
The Bishop continues:
"This message contains nothing that will not appear in those minutes that we approved before I and Bishop
Nikolai, and Bishop Alejo, and Archbishop Kirill left the Chancery, after the last session to catch our flights. The only reason I am giving a preview of what will be on the public record, is that we all agreed with Archbishop Kirill's considered and stated opinion that it is sessions and proceedings of the Holy Synod which are confidential, as they take place, but that the minutes are not confidential.
So when I said to the Auditor, 'Would you say that it is true to state that your report will not show any
evidence of criminal wrong-doing,' and he answered (more than once) to that question put to him more than
once): 'Yes, it is true,' and since this was twice recorded by the Secretary of the Holy Synod in our presence (and the first time the statement disappeared during the time that Father Paul Kucynda had the minutes and since we agreed that the second copy would NOT be given to him).. (This will keep untoward suspicions away, since he is so obviously an interested party and should not appear to be guilty of anything.. It is hard to know whom to blame when files are missing consistently, and even right up to the present day and moment. As I say, the Chancellor of the OCA is historically not a file clerk, although he is charged to make sure that files are in order for the person who ultimately and finally has responsibility for them. I find it hard to consider it at all rational for anyone to blame a manager for missing files (and compound the blame by allowing so many people to opine that missing files were stolen by that manager) when a document of great value to that same manager is just another of those missing files!
I am not, of course (what an idea!) contradicting anything that was said by anyone at our Holy Synod meeting; in fact, I am faithfully reporting EXACTLY what was said, being 'in one mind' with all, so to speak!"
+Tikhon concluded his posting with a long plea that "attacks" on the Metropolitan and Fr. Kondratick now "cease".
Undisclosed Debt, Undisclosed Mortgages,
And An Embarrassing Trip to Vegas
The Bishop's revelations do not reveal quite the whole story, according to informed sources; nor do the
minutes published on the OCA website.
First, the promissory note:
It is the Metropolitan Council, not the Administrative Committee which has the statuatory authority to indebt
the OCA. (Read the OCA Statute here). Thus the legality of the note is in question; not to mention the motives of those who signed such a undisclosed document. Both Kalina and Woog were appointed to the Administrative Committee by +Theodosius on the recommendation of Fr. Kondratick.
Metropolitan Theodosius, Judge Kalina and Fr.
Oselinsky have all retired from the Council; but Woog and Fr. Paul Kucynda are still members and may be
expected to discuss the matter at the forthcoming Metropolitan Council meeting on June 13th in Syosset.
The OCA has acknowledged that it owes Fr. Kondtratick $111,500 for repairs to his church-owned residence in Syosset as part of the explanation it gave to Metropolitan Council members in preparation for their
conference call last week. That "meeting" indebted the OCA for $1.7 million to repay this, as well as other vendors, and funds diverted from various charity and appeals over the past 5 years. (Read article here). If +Tikhon's claim is correct, the amount owed Fr. Kondratick may now more than double, calling into question the adequacy of the amount of the loan.
This apparent breach of statutory authority by a small group of people in the name of the Metropolitan
Council was not singular. Although it was not discussed at the Synod meeting, OCANews has learned that during the conference call with the Metropolitan Council, Metropolitan Herman confirmed that "OCA property"has been mortgaged to cover the loan, but denied it was the Syosset property itself. He declined to identify to the Council which property was indeed mortgaged. This means Metropolitan Herman, the Administrative Committee and Bishop Nikolai have all sold OCA holdings, mortgaged OCA properties or indebted the OCA without the knowledge or consent of the Metropolitan Council.
Finally, one receipt apparently did escape being misplaced. The Bishops heard from the Auditor that Fr.
Kondratick's son, Robert Jr., received $5,600 in church funds as reimbursement for a trip to Las Vegas.