Nicholas Koumentakos and his wife, Kristine Patico Koumentakos were lay members of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA). The couple attended St. Matthew Church (SMC) in Columbia, Maryland, which belongs to the OCA’s Diocese of Washington and New York. The priest assigned to SMC was Fr. Raymond Velencia.
Mrs. Koumentakos was also employed as the executive director of St. Matthew House (SMH), a non-profit corporation which owns and operates a home for adults with physical disabilities in Columbia. SMH originated as a ministry of SMC, and Fr. Raymond served on SMH’s Board of Directors (BOD).
On May 1, 2008, the Koumentakos filed a lawsuit against Metropolitan Herman (Swaiko), the OCA, the Diocese of Washington and New York, Fr. Raymond, SMC, SMH and the SMH BOD. The action alleged employment discrimination and retaliation. In addition, the suit contended that Fr. Raymond had breached the seal of confession to embarass and harm the couple.