A former rector at St. Stephens Church in Colorado Springs is in big trouble… accused of stealing $392,000 from the church treasury.
Rev. Donald Armstrong’s reasoning in court this week? Â Well… he did use church funds to pay for his two kid’s college tuitions, but he did so in lieu of getting any pay raises for several years.
In other words… you didn’t give me a pay raise, so I just paid my kids college bill instead.
He said that all the checks were made to “Tuition Management Systems, and that the purpose of those checks should have been obvious.
And each check needed to be signed by Armstrong and someone else from the church.
Here’s an interesting exchange from the Gazette.com:
Wasnâ€™t it obvious that the checks were going for tuition? Hartley [Armstrong’s attorney] asked the detective. â€œYet not one warden who co-signed on these checks ever questioned what this was for?â€ he asked.
â€œI suppose the senior warden was depending upon the rector to be honest,â€ Flynn [the detective] replied. â€œAnd my investigation showed that Mr. Armstrong was not.â€
Mistake #1: Â Armstrong signing checks
Mistake #2: Â The church trusting Armstrong and not having any financial accountability.
Sound strikingly familiar to this story yesterday?
Come on, people… have some common sense.