Church’s office manager accused of stealing $118K

| September 3, 2009

SPRINGFIELD — A woman who worked at a Catholic church for more than 20 years was arrested on theft charges Wednesday, Sept. 2, after authorities say she stole more than $118,000.

Brenda L. Driscoll, 58, office manager for Sacred Heart Parish in New Carlisle, was booked into the Clark County Jail on one charge of theft and one count of tampering with evidence.

Clark County Assistant Prosecutor Andrew Picek said Driscoll could get one to five years in prison for each charge.

Sheriff Gene Kelly said investigators have been looking into the case since January. Authorities received a complaint from church officials after Sacred Heart staff noticed that invoices weren’t being paid, Kelly said.

A forensic audit performed by a company hired by the church reportedly found that in the past six years, $105,000 was stolen from Sacred Heart’s collection plate, $1,700 was taken from the church’s capital campaign, Driscoll overpaid herself $4,368, and $7,200 was taken from bingo funds.

Driscoll worked for the church for 22 years and potentially there could be more money missing, but the church could only afford to audit the past six years, Kelly said.

Driscoll held a piece of paper in front of her face as she was led to the jail’s book-in.

She said, “I didn’t do anything,” but refused to elaborate.

Driscoll will be arraigned today in Clark County Common Pleas Court, where a judge will set her bond.

The Rev. Mike Bidwell, pastor of Sacred Heart, said the pastoral staff and parishioners are “shocked and saddened” by Driscoll’s arrest.

He declined to comment on the ongoing investigation but asked for prayers.

“I ask all of you to pray for all of us at Sacred Heart,” Bidwell said. “And I ask for you to pray for Ms. Driscoll.”

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Category: Church Security

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