Spiritual Court Suspends Fr. Dokos
The Rev. James Dokos, the former pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Glenview, IL who pleaded guilty to felony theft on February 22, admitting to stealing more than $100,000 from a Greek Orthodox church has been relieved of his duties.
“The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago, which oversees dozens of member churches in the Midwest, announced late Friday that the Spiritual Court of First Instance, a body that considers disciplinary actions against clergy members, has submitted a report on Dokos to the Eparchial Synod of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, which will make a final determination,” according to the Chicago Tribune.
“Dokos admitted in court to stealing the money from a trust fund he controlled at his former parish, Annunciation Church in Milwaukee…Under the terms of a plea agreement, Dokos repaid the money, and if he stays out of trouble for a year and performs 40 hours of community service, the felony theft charge will be reduced to a misdemeanor,” the Tribune reported.
Dokos was placed on leave by the Metropolis when the charges were filed in 2014, two years after he left Annunciation and moved to Glenview.
“The handling of the case prompted criticism of the Metropolis, whose leaders at first determined that Dokos did not misspend any of the trust fund money and punished parishioners and other clergy members who raised concerns about him,” the Tribune wrote, adding “According to court records and a Tribune investigation, Dokos spent the money on items including fancy restaurant meals, personal credit card bills, jewelry and gifts to other church officials. Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos, the chancellor of the Metropolis, received more than $6,700 in checks from the fund, records show.”
The bishop and Dokos’ attorneys argued that the case should be handled within the church and was not a matter for the criminal courts.
The Metropolis’ statement, which was the first since Dokos pleaded guilty, said, among other things, “As Orthodox Christians approach Great Lent, the season of forgiveness, it is the hope of the Metropolis of Chicago that all those involved may receive healing from our compassionate, merciful and forgiving Lord Jesus Christ.”