Ex-NY pastor gets no jail time for gambling-fueled church theft

| January 15, 2010

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — The former pastor of a city church was sentenced today to time served and given five years probation for stealing $432,000 from his parish to feed his gambling habit.

The Rev. Patrick Dunne of Our Lady of Sorrows Roman Catholic Church apologized for his actions, admitted to a gambling "addiction" and said he had hoped to raise money for the church through gambling.

Some 250 parishioners through letters, as well as the Westchester County Department of Probation, asked that he serve no more time behind bars. State Supreme Court Justice Jeffrey Cohen, a county judge when he presided over Dunne's case, returned from Orange County Court to pronounce sentence.

Dunne, 65, pleaded guilty Oct. 20 to the top count against him, second-degree grand larceny, and was promised no more than six months in the county jail at that time.

The felony charge is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Cohen said Dunne would be transferred to a church in Dutchess County, where he would have no access to parish funds. He did not identify the parish.



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Category: Church Security