The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America made an official announcement on Thursday in response to the allegations made by Jerry Dimitriou against Archbishop Demetrios.
In his letter, Mr Dimitriou accused the Archbishop of having full knowledge about the financial discrepancies discovered during a review of Archdiocesan payroll records for 2016 and 2017. The irregularities concerned the payrolls of former Archdiocese staff. It is worth noting that Mr Dimitriou, who served as the Archdiocese’s Executive Director of Administration, resigned from his post in September 2017.
As stated in its announcement, the Archdiocese remains “committed to total transparency and accountability, so that through strict adherence to established governance, it may ensure its ability to meet the spiritual needs of the Faithful.”
In December of last year, as the National Herald reports, the Archdiocese engaged Kiwi Associates, an independent accounting firm, to launch a special review of Archdiocesan payroll records for 2016 and 2017, during which they identified specific payroll discrepancies associated with former staff of the Archdiocese.
According to His Grace, Bishop Andonios, Chancellor of the Archdiocese, this discovery “led the Archdiocese to immediately undertake a far closer inspection of its payroll and credit card expenses for the 5 year period between the beginning of 2013 and end of 2017,” which brought to light “unprecedented irregularities” which are under an ongoing investigation.
The bishop also said that the Archdiocese implemented appropriate internal payroll controls with rigorous internal oversight and periodic independent reviews, which have now become a permanent requirement, while additionally adopting strict controls regarding the issuance and use of corporate credit cards.
“We shall pursue all available remedies to address the discrepancies but, while doing so, we have created far stronger audit and control procedures, additional oversight and strict reviews,” he added.
The announcement of the Archdiocese concludes by saying that the accusations against the Archbishop are a result of ignorance and an attempt to divert attention from this serious issue.