Sad news from the Diocese of New York is being reported today. A parish priest is accused of embezzling more than eighty thousand dollars for his own use. The priest in question is not responding to press inquiries.
UPDATED: The linked article now has a response from the accused's lawyer who is denying the charges.
Staten Island Live has the story's details:
"The Rev. William Blasingame, 66, the now-resigned pastor of St. Paul's Memorial Episcopal Church in Stapleton, stole a total of $84,537 over a three-year period starting in January 2005, authorities charge.
Authorities allege he manipulated the church's bank accounts to pocket money from two funds --The 'Friends of St. Paul's' foundation, which was set up to fund the maintenance, upkeep and beautification of the church's grounds, and a discretionary fund he oversaw meant to provide small amounts of cash to parishioners in need.
Mr. Blasingame used the money to pay for club memberships, plastic surgery, car insurance for his personal vehicle, and clothes, a law enforcement source said. The cash he allegedly took was 'entirely separate' from the salary he had already been paid by the church."
Read the full article here. The linked story has been updated this evening with further information.