Edmond church embezzlement inquiry continues

Edmond police continue to investigate the possible embezzlement of more than $109,000 from St. John the Baptist Catholic Church. Officers are doing their own audit of church books.
by Diana Baldwin Modified: October 18, 2012 at 6:50 pm •  Published: October 19, 2012

— Police were continuing Wednesday to do their own audit of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church books to determine if more than $109,000 may have been embezzled from the church.

Police were notified in July by church officials that a church audit had found $109,454 missing from the coffers.

“We are also going through the church's audit,” said Jennifer Monroe, Edmond police spokeswoman. “We are moving forward. They feel like they have gone through the bulk of the bookkeeping. We have made significant progress in the investigation.”

The possible embezzlement at the church at 924 S Littler Ave. is believed to have occurred from Jan. 1, 2004, to Feb. 1, 2012, a police report shows.

Police did not say how much longer the investigation might take.

No suspect has been questioned or arrested.

The suspect is not named in the police report or in an email statement from the church. The email stated “a possible misappropriation of church funds by a church employee was discovered.”

The Rev. Ray Ackerman, who was appointed pastor of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in April, was not available for comment Thursday because his father had died.

Ackerman told the congregation in July that authorities were investigating the case, a parishioner said.

The Rev. John Metzinger also had told the congregation just before he left that an investigation into possible misappropriation was under way, the parishioner said. Metzinger, a longtime pastor at St. John the Baptist, was appointed pastor of Our Lady's Cathedral in Oklahoma City in April.

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by Diana Baldwin
Sr. Reporter
Diana Baldwin has been an Oklahoma journalist since 1976 and came to The Oklahoman in 1991. She covered the Oklahoma City bombing and covered the downfall of Oklahoma City police forensic chemist Joyce Gilchrist misidentifying evidence. She wrote...
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