LEGAL COMMITTEE ACTS
• SIC Report Sent To Nassau County District
Attorney For Review
• St. Tikhon Mortgages Being Studied
The OCA announced today that the Metropolitan Council's Legal Committee has forwarded the Report of the Special Investigative Committee (SIC) to the Nassau County District Attorney's Criminal Complaint Unit for its review. The same announcement made clear that the recent mortgaging of St. Tikhon's monastery by former Metropolitan Herman (read that story here) was also being reviewed - although it was not fully clear whose responsibility it was to conduct such a review, according to the Legal Committee's Chairman, Mr. Gregg Nescott.
In a posting this afternoon the OCA stated:
"Members of the Holy Synod of Bishops and Metropolitan Council of the Orthodox Church in America were informed by Metropolitan Council Legal Committee Chair, Gregory Nescott, that the report of the Special Investigating Committee that investigated past financial mismanagement at the OCA Chancery was forwarded on September 30, 2008, to the Criminal Complaint Unit of the Nassau County District Attorney.
This action was taken in response to Immediate Recommendation 7 of the report which mandated “the OCA Legal Committee and legal counsel to review this report for possible referral to the Nassau County District Attorney and other appropriate authorities no later than September 30, 2008, and report back to the HS and MC on that date." The OCA Chancery is located in Oyster Bay Cove, a town in Nassau County, New York.
“With reference to the question raised at the joint meeting [of the Holy Synod and Metropolitan Council earlier this month] of whether the OCA was required to forward the report under New York state law, it was determined that the answer was no, inasmuch as there is no evidence of ongoing criminal activity at this date,” Mr. Nescott writes in his memorandum.
”However, after balancing the benefits and any possible downside of making the referral, it was agreed that the prudent decision would be to bring the report to the attention of the District Attorney.”
Mr. Nescott also gave the Holy Synod and Metropolitan Council a brief update on the matter of a recent mortgaging of property at St. Tikhon’s Monastery, South Canaan, PA. While this is still under review, he writes that “I can assure you all that the MC Legal Committee, General Counsel, the Chancery, and Bishop Tikhon are all working together to determine, as expeditiously as possible, what has happened and who has the responsibility for sorting this all out.”
- Mark Stokoe