Special Investigating Committee presents report to OCA Holy Synod and Metropolitan Council

On Wednesday, September 3, 2008, the Special Investigating Committee charged with a continued examination of past financial mismanagement at the Chancery of the Orthodox Church in America gave a report of its findings to a special joint session of the Church’s Holy Synod of Bishops and Metropolitan Council. The Committee was created by the two bodies at a joint session in October 2007.

The Special Investigating Committee is chaired by His Grace, Bishop Benjamin of San Francisco and the West. Other members of the Committee include Archpriest John Tkachuk, Archpriest Philip Reese, Dr. Faith Skordinski and Dr. Dimitri Solodow. Consultants to the Committe include Ms. Julia Azrael, legal counsel, and Mr. Bernard Wilson, investigative consultant.

In his opening remarks, Bishop Benjamin said, “What we find in this report is an incredible failure at many levels to act responsibly. Many flags went up and people failed to, or chose not to, address them.” He also noted that the report presented to the joint session is titled “preliminary” because footnotes citing attached documentation have yet to be added. “The text will remain the same,” His Grace noted, “We will only be adding footnotes.”

The Committee members stressed that they experienced no interference in the course of their investigations and that all members approved of the report.

After hearing the Special Investigating Committee’s report, upon the recommendation of Bishop Benjamin, the Holy Synod and Metropolitan Council decided to publish it immediately on the OCA.Org web site.