Faith at Altitude

Religion and spirituality in the shadow of Pikes Peak

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Episcopal Church vs. Armstrong

Ed Sealover, The Gazette's gov't reporter in Denver, has been covering this. He'll have a full story for the paper and our web site soon.

Here's a condensed version from the AP wire:

DENVER — An Episcopal church court issued a preliminary ruling that the leader of a breakaway church is guilty of financial misconduct, officials said today.

The Rev. Donald Armstrong of Colorado Springs faces internal allegations including theft and tax fraud. The ruling was made Aug. 2 and released today.

Both Armstrong and Colorado bishop Robert O’Neill have 30 days to respond to the preliminary ruling. The court will then issue a final judgment along with recommendations for a sentence.

Diocese spokeswoman Beckett Stokes declined comment.

Armstrong has denied wrongdoing. His lawyer, Dennis Hartley, has called the process a “witch hunt.”

Armstrong, the rector of Grace Church and St. Stephen’s parish in Colorado Springs and now a member of a conservative Anglican diocese, is accused of having the church pay him $392,409 between 1999 and 2006 without authorization of the church vestry.

Church lawyers allege the money was used for personal expenses for his wife and family and were covered up by “false and misleading” entries that Armstrong told the church’s bookkeeper to use.

Armstrong and his lawyer boycotted a church court hearing last week, saying that Armstrong is no longer under O’Neill’s authority.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dennis Hartley needs to quietly retire. Thank goodness this step is over and Grace Church can move on to the next step, whether that is civil charges against Armstrong or recovery of the property.

2:24 PM  

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