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Saturday, Oct 19 2013 12:07 PM

Tulare priest investigated over financial concerns

By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

A priest in Tulare county has been relieved of his administrative duties after financial discrepancies were found in church records, according to a press release from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno.

The Diocese did not name the priest but said the discrepancies were discovered at St. Rita Church in Tulare.

Tulare police have turned the case over to the District Attorney's financial crimes unit for review.

The Diocese implemented new financial management, reporting and monitoring systems to increase transparency in 2008. As part of that implementation, church financial records were thoroughly examined.

It was during that process that discrepancies at St. Rita were discovered, "raising serious concerns," according to the Diocese release.

The priest in question was immediately removed from administrative duties pending the completion of law enforcement's investigation.

The Fresno Diocese also governs Kern County Catholic churches.

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