The Rev. Donald Armstrong funneled money earmarked for "single, unmarried seminarians" from a Grace Church trust fund to pay for his two children's college tuition, according to Colorado Springs police investigators.The trial over the church property occupied by the breakaway is set for February 10.
The affidavit, returned by detective Michael Flynn to the court Tuesday, outlines the 18-month police investigation from May 2007 - when they were notified by the Episcopal Church, Diocese of Colorado that it suspected financial wrongdoing by Armstrong - and Nov. 25, when a judge signed the warrant authorizing the search.
"The Bowton Trust was a restricted trust fund providing scholarships for single, unmarried seminarians from Colorado, and was administered by Grace Church," according to the affidavit. "Father Armstrong's children were not seminarians. The police investigation determined Donald Armstrong was in control of parish finances and the Bowton Trust with no effective oversight and/or internal controls, and misused trust income (averaging about $9,000 a year) from about 1992 until 2001 when the trustee stopped further disbursements (because Armstrong could not prove he was in compliance with the trust fund)."
Armstrong headed the Grace Church and St. Stephen's Parish before he and his followers broke away in early 2007 to affiliate with the Convocation of Anglicans in North America.
CANA is affiliated with the Church of Nigeria led by Archbishop Peter Akinola who has been an outspoken critic of corruption, mocking the Nigerian government for its ineffectiveness in rooting it out, and blaming the West moral weakness and for abetting corruption in Africa.