In 2016, following the retirement of Rev. David Fisher from the pastorate of St. Joseph Parish, Fr. Michael O’Brien and his staff took control of the parish records. As they began to examine the financial records of the parish, irregularities quickly came to light. These were promptly reported to the Diocese of Lansing and a forensic audit was conducted. Based on the findings in that audit the diocese asked that the Michigan State Police investigate the possibility of criminal actions. The investigation determined there was was sufficient evidence to bring charges against those involved.
Obviously, there isn’t much that the parish, or diocese, can say about the underlying facts of this matter – it truly is in the hands of law enforcement. However, please know that the staff of St. Joseph Parish and the Diocese of Lansing continue to cooperate with the investigation and that this came to light because of the good and careful work of parish and diocesan staff. The diocese is committed to exploring every possible avenue for the recovery of diverted funds. Bishop Boyea fully understands the pain this is causing the people of St. Joseph Parish and he is praying for all involved or affected.