Bouncing back after an alleged embezzlement, Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Milwaukee WI is trying to revive itself after falling into a financial slump. This happens at the same time as a former priest faces charges of improperly spending thousands of dollars from a church trust fund. James Dokos faces a Class G felony charge of theft (embezzlement), value exceeding 10,000 USD (352,000 Roubles. 10,750 CAD. 10,650 AUD. 7,400 Euros. 5,850 UK Pounds), and he was a “no show” for his first two court appearances. Prosecutors accuse 62-year-old Dokos of tapping into an Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church trust fund… to the tune of about 100,000 USD (3.52 million Roubles. 107,500 CAD. 106,500 AUD. 74,000 Euros. 58,500 UK Pounds). The GOAA Chicago Metropolis transferred Dokos to Ss Peter and Paul Church in Glenview IL in 2012, his most recent parish.
Last month, the church placed Dokos on unpaid administrative leave and suspended him from his duties as parish priest at the church in Glenview. Members of Annunciation parish said that they’ve experienced a myriad of emotions since learning of the allegations against Dokos. One member said, “I’m just very saddened. It’s very hard”. Church member Despina Panos said, “He was very good to us. I don’t know. I still don’t believe it happened”. Current priest Fr Angelo Artemas said, “When we realised that there were financial difficulties here and that there was a trust involved, it was very disheartening and all these circumstances have been very sad for us. We are experiencing some financial difficulties”. Fr Angelo said that the alleged theft, carried out by someone so trusted within the church is an unfortunate thing, but he said that he has full trust in the court system, noting, “This is America. Everybody’s entitled to their defence as well, and our sincere prayers are with Fr Jim Dokos as well”. Others are looking toward their faith… praying justice is served. Panos said, “Only God knows the truth, and He’ll give us the answers”.
Lately, it’s been difficult to even get Dokos in front of a judge. He was a “no show” for his first two scheduled court appearances… claiming that he missed them due to car problems and an illness. He finally showed up for his initial court appearance on Friday, 18 July. As Dokos moves through the court system, members of Annunciation parish said that they’re just trying to move on. Church member Constantine Stamantelakys said, “We just really want to move on. We really come here to worship and believe in Jesus and that’s what it’s all about. We’ll survive”. The court ordered Dokos booked and released by 15.00 Saturday, 19 July. If he failed to appear, it’d issue a bench warrant for his arrest.
20 July 2014