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Schism nearing resolution for Macedonian church

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.chroniclet.com/2007/06/06/schism-nearing-resolution-for-macedonian-church/ Schism nearing resolution for Macedonian church Brad Dicken | The
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 6, 2007
      http://www.chroniclet.com/2007/06/06/schism-nearing-resolution-for-macedonian-church/

      Schism nearing resolution for Macedonian church
      Brad Dicken | The Chronicle-Telegram

      ELYRIA, Ohio – A feud that has divided an Avon
      church and plunged the congregation into nearly a
      decade of legal fights could come to an end next week.

      Visiting Judge Lynett McGough told both sides
      Tuesday that she will make a decision in the lawsuit June 13.

      The two sides have been fighting over how almost
      $1.3 million in bingo proceeds raised when St.
      Clement of Ohrid Macedonian Orthodox Church was
      running bingo games from 1990 through 1998 should be spent.

      A group that was voted out of office in church
      elections in 1995 has accused its successors of
      mishandling the money, spending it on Indians
      jackets, excessive door prizes and writing checks
      to themselves. About $200,000 was misspent during
      the three years before the bingo games were shut
      down after the old leadership sued the replacements, according to the lawsuit.

      The old guard also had questioned about $400,000
      in legal bills the church paid to defend itself
      and its leadership from the lawsuit and sought to
      review the books, but it never was given a
      satisfactory explanation for how all of the money
      was spent, said the plaintiffs’ attorney, Eric Zagrans.

      “There’s just so many things wrong with handling
      money in this way,” he said during closing arguments.

      But Edward Markovich, the attorney representing
      the new regime, has said his clients were hounded
      by false allegations because the old guard didn’t
      want to spend money to build a new church in
      North Olmsted. He urged McGough to rule in his
      clients’ favor and find they weren’t liable.

      “The litigation has gone on for too long,” he
      said. “It’s time to bring it to an end.”
      The legal fight also involved threats,
      excommunications of dissident members and
      complaints to police. A third group of leaders
      was elected in 2003, after the archbishop of the
      world wide church ordered an election be held in
      an effort to resolve the dispute.

      Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@....
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