Detroit Priest Charged with Theft, Removed from Ministry – UPDATED

Fr. Timothy Kane

Troubling news today from the Archdiocese of Detroit:  A local pastor has been removed from ministry and a warrant issued for his arrest, following charges that he and a Jackson woman conspired to steal thousands of dollars from the Angel Fund, a privately funded charitable program intended to help inner-city residents.

Fr. Timothy Kane, former associate pastor at St. Moses the Black parish in Detroit (formerly Church of the Madonna, St. Benedict and St. Gregory the Great parishes), has been charged with six felony counts. During the time of the fraudulent activity, he also served as Christian Service contact at Detroit’s Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament. Father Kane was removed from ministry February 6, after the Archdiocese became aware of the charges against him.

In a press conference this morning, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy announced that Fr. Kane and Dorreca Marvie Brewer of Jackson are alleged to have participated in a scheme to steal the funds. According to Ms. Worthy, the alleged theft of thousands of dollars occurred between August 2008 and July 2012. During this time period, the two defendants allegedly filled out and approved false applications to the Angel Fund, allowing them each to receive thousands of dollars.

Both Kane and Brewer are accused of

  • Criminal Enterprise Conspiracy
  • Using a Computer to Commit a Crime
  • Uttering and Publishing
  • Conspiracy to Commit Uttering and Publishing
  • Embezzlement from a Charitable Institution, and
  • Conspiracy to Commit Embezzlement from a Charitable Institution

Kane will be arraigned at 36th District Court on February 12. A date for Brewer’s arraignment has not yet been set.

The Archdiocese of Detroit responded with a statement, and has scheduled a press conference for 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time today at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral.

Ned McGrath, Director of Communications for the Archdiocese of Detroit, in a statement released today, said,

We are extremely disappointed and discouraged that a generous source of support for those in dire need in the inner city, an effort known as the Angel Fund, could possibly fall victim to fraud by a member of our own clergy. We have been and will continue cooperating with law enforcement authorities and the Wayne County Prosecutor on this matter, which precludes us from commenting specifically on the case.”

The statement reported that since 2005, the Angel Fund has granted more than $17 million to needy individuals and families in Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park. As it is funded by a single source, the Angel Fund is not supported by regular donations, such as weekend collections at parishes, the Catholic Services Appeal, or the Changing Lives Together capital campaign.

Archbishop Vigneron is out of town, participating in the installation of Bishop-elect John Doerfler as Bishop of Marquette. Representing the Archdiocese at the press conference this afternoon will be Bishop Donald Hanchon, Auxiliary Bishop of the Central Region; Msgr. Michael Bugarin, the Archbishop’s Delegate for Cases Involving Clergy Misconduct; and Ned McGrath, Director of Communications.

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 UPDATE:  Speaking at the press conference this afternoon, Bishop Donald Hanchon said, “It’s very painful because any priest’s alleged misconduct affects us all. I hope that people will be thoughtful and considerate to the fact that there are not lots of these cases. … This is an exception.”

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said earlier that Father Kane is expected to turn himself in Wednesday before his arraignment,. Brewer, who is implicated along with Kane, was arrested on Tuesday. Worthy’s office said she and Kane would be arraigned at 36th District Court.