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Orthodox leader suspected of taking church funds

Four thousand U.S. dollars are counted out by a banker counting currency at a bank in Westminster, Colorado November 3, 2009. REUTERS/Rick W
Four thousand U.S. dollars are counted out by a banker counting currency at a bank in Westminster, Colorado November 3, 2009. REUTERS/Rick W

MILWAUKEE (WSAU-Wheeler News)  A prosecutor is deciding whether to file criminal charges against a former long-time Greek Orthodox pastor in Milwaukee. Annunciation Church members were updated at yesterday's service about the Reverend James Dokos. He's suspected of taking $200,000 in trust funds for his own use.

Dokos was the church's leader for about 20 years until he moved to suburban Chicago. He's now serving at Saints Peter-and-Paul Orthodox Church in Glenview, Illinois. The Orthodox bishop in Chicago ruled in August that Dokos did not do anything wrong. An attorney for the parish council at the Milwaukee church said his group was not planning to seek criminal charges -- but eventually, they decided they had no choice.

Assistant District Attorney David Feiss is trying to determine if Dokos misused part of a trust of more than a million dollars, left to the church in 2008 by Ervin-and-Margaret Franszak. Attorney Emmanuel Mamalakis told the congregation that questions about the trust first arose in February, when the church received a nearly $200 check to reimburse Dokos for a health insurance premium. Dokos had already left for Glenview by then.

Mamalkis said the parish council investigated the matter for six months before going to the D-A.

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