The National Herald - October 14-20, 2017

Leadership 100 Grants Missing from Archdiocese

By Theodoros Kalmoukos

NEW YORK – Over $2.5 million worth of funds donated by Leadership 100, intended to be allocated to various departments of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America in support of specific programs and ministries were actually not allocated for those purposes, sources have told The National Herald.

As in previous similar instances of misallocation, causing wide disturbance, no one seems to know what happened to the money.

TNH has learned that some of the heads of departments were persuaded, at the risk of losing their jobs, to falsify their annual reports to indicate that the funds were received.

But as was proven a few weeks ago, no monies were transferred.

Leadership 100 Chair George Tsandikos did not respond to TNH’s request for comment, and Executive Director Paulette Poulos told TNH that she cannot speak on his behalf.

A prestigious and well-organized nonprofit established in 1984 during the tenure of Archbishop Iakovos, Leadership 100 was based on finding 100 Greek-Americans to give $100,000 each – either as a lump sum or in installments.

It can only support existing Archdiocesan programs and cannot pay for the Archdiocese’s operational expenses or its deficits or loans.

George Tsan- dikos, Vice Chairman of the Archdio- cesan Council and also Chair- man of the Leadership 100

| During Archbishop Spyridon’s tenure, it became an independent and separate corporation from the Archdiocese for security purposes. Specifically, to prevent the Archdiocese of using The Leadership 100 funds for operational expenses and also to defend against possible legal implications of pedophile priests and other clergy sexual misconducts.

Leadership has in its coffers $91.1 million. It is comprised of 1060 members out of whom 680 have fulfilled their pledges. Since 1984, it has given over $48 million to the programs and ministries of the Archdiocese, the Holy Cross School of Theology, and the Metropolises.

It gave $2.6 million in 2017, $3.67 million in 2016, $1.73 million in 2015 and an additional $700,000. In 2014, Leadership gave $2.4 million, including $100,000 for the ministries of emerging leaders.

Recently, Leadership gave $75,000 to Archbishop Demetrios to publish a special edition of the Orthodox Observer to answer to the many revelations TNH made about the Archdiocese’s financial situation.

A few weeks ago, the Archdiocese eliminated the entire Observer staff, stating that the publication was being eliminated due to financial constraints. Of note is that $75,000 is an approximation of the annual salaries of the staff whose positions were eliminated.

The archbishop will attempt in his encyclical to say something similar he said on October 1st at a New York parish: “we have money because we have Leadership 100, the Organization Faith, and the St. Michael’s Home for the Aged.”

Again, to clarify, Leadership 100 is a separate organization and its funds are restricted for specific purposes. The Faith organization has already distanced itself from the Archdiocese and gives scholarships directly to Greek-American college students and to the Ionian Village as TNH recently reported.

TNH is in a unique position of having obtained information that many Leadership members are annoyed, primarily because the organization gave the $75,000 to the archbishop for the Observer and now wonder “why did we give our money for this type of spending?” Also, they demand to know what happened to the funds given for the Archdiocese’s programs and ministries, which are unaccountable for at least one year.

Some in the Archdiocese are scrambling to say Demetrios didn’t know what was happening with the finances and that the deficit was in the millions. Note that Demetrios was desperately seeking large amounts of money from Michael Jaharis and Nicholas Bouras to pay the Archdiocese’s employees.

[ The National Herald - October 14-20, 2017 - p. 8 ]

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