Bishop Michael Barber has released the following statement to the parishioners of Church of the Assumption Parish and the faithful of the rest of the Diocese of Oakland:
On Oct. 23, the Diocese of Oakland provided information to the Alameda County District Attorney requesting an investigation into suspected financial improprieties at Church of the Assumption in San Leandro. The information is in the form of a forensic accounting report, completed by an independent firm engaged by the Diocese. The Diocese engaged the firm after the parish finance council discovered the perceived financial improprieties and irregularities.
The report indicates the likelihood of misappropriation of funds by a former lay employee. The individual is no longer employed by Church of the Assumption or in the Diocese. There were no other people implicated by the report. No further details will be provided until the district attorneyʼs office concludes its investigation. The Diocese is cooperating fully with law enforcement and intends to seek restitution.
The Diocese is also reviewing its procedures regarding training of clergy and lay employees in financial controls to determine how it can improve its efforts to avoid similar situations in the future.
“This matter represents a serious violation of the trust, generosity and stewardship of our faith community,” Father Leonard Marrujo, parochial administrator of Assumption Parish, said. “I understand we will need to improve our adherence to strict standards of financial controls and work very hard to regain the trust of our parishioners.”
The above comes from a Dec. 1 release by the Diocese of Oakland.