March 12, 2007
The former Catholic priest accused of embezzling up to $1 million in church donations was in court Monday. However, Father Rodney Rodis' arraignment was postponed.
A grand jury indicted him on 12 additional charges Friday and because those papers have yet to be served on the retired priest the hearing could not move forward.
The delay was disappointing for the some two dozen parishioners who attended the hearing.
“This is going to go on for years. They keep postponing postponing postponing,” said St. Jude’s parishioner Ellen McGough.
A third hearing for Rodis and still parishioners have yet to learn whether the former catholic priest will plead guilty or not guilty to the charges.
“I am very disappointed. I don't know why I bothered to come today. This is becoming a joke. This is the third appearance I have seen here and nothing has come of it except additional charges,” said St. Jude’s parishioner Bill Hynes.
Rodis once again walked into the courtroom using a cane. Ellen McGough said "he wouldn’t look at us." She said she'd like to see Rodis' medical records questioning his need for the cane.
Rodis would make no comment outside the courtroom.
Now the pastor accused of living a double life as a family man in a neighboring county will face a total of thirteen embezzlement charges.
“I think that's great they aught to get him for everything he's done,” said St. Jude’s parishioner Sue Hennigan
Hennigan said she has proof her money was among the donations allegedly stolen. She wishes the wheels of justice were moving faster.
“We want it over with. We want him to serve time, to get justice and get our money back,” said Hennigan
“I'm sorry this is taking longer than they would like but justice sometimes requires more time,” said Rodis’ attorney Jack Maus outside the courthouse.
Rodis was indicted in January on one count of felony embezzlement but late Friday they added 12 more counts. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Richmond says Rodis embezzled the money from two parishes where he served as pastor.
Defense attorney Jack Maus said that if Rodis is convicted he could serve up to 20 years on each count or 260 years in prison.
His next court date is scheduled for March 30, 2007.