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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://ocanews.org/news/BodnarDismissed.html 12.1.07 BODNAR ABRUPTLY DISMISSED AS SECRETARY OF OCA After less than five months in office, Paul Bodnar has been
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 1, 2007



      After less than five months in office, Paul Bodnar has been dismissed
      as Secretary of the OCA. According to sources close to Syosset,
      Bodnar cleared out his desk on Thursday, November 29th. His duties as
      Secretary will be assumed by the Chancellor, Treasurer and Director
      of Communications.

      Bodnar's official title had already been given to the Chancellor . As
      reported in the Minutes of the Synod meeting of October 17th, the OCA
      admitted that Bodnar, a Canadian citizen, faced "immigration
      problems", and that "until the matter is clarified satisfactorily"
      the new Chancellor, Archpriest Alexander Garklavs, would be
      "temporarily appointed" Acting Secretary of the Orthodox Church in
      America. At the time the OCA downplayed the issue as "a visa
      extension application delayed in routine INS processing."

      Because of his immigration status, the OCA could never 'pay' Bodnar
      for his services, and eventually was forced to admit a loan process
      had been worked out to keep the OCA within what Syosset would claim
      was the letter of the law. Fr. Michael Tassos, the new OCA Treasurer,
      explained the arrangement in a November 13th press release:" ....it
      was brought to my attention that Mr. Bodnar is still awaiting the
      transfer of his I-94 multiple entry permit from the Greek Orthodox
      Metropolis of San Francisco to the OCA and that certain monthly
      amounts have been advanced to him.

      I reviewed the signed notes for each check that Mr. Bodnar has
      received...." The status of the 'loans' to Mr. Bodnar given in lieu
      of his salary, are now unclear, especially since it is not known at
      this time whether Bodnar is considering legal action challenging his
      abrupt dismissal, or what has been the amount of any severance
      payment or settlement to him to forestall the possibility. It is
      known that Mr. Bodnar recently bought a house in the Syosset area and
      that he moved his family there from California. Given an OCA already
      reeling from a $1.7 miliion loan and continuing cash flow woes, a
      lawsuit or large settlement would be a major, additional financial woe.

      Neither immigration problems nor money, however, precipitated the
      dismissal according to sources close to Syosset. The major reason was
      dissatisfaction by others in the administration with Bodnar's
      attempts to assume the responsibilities of his office, according to
      the job description provided by the "Reorganization Task Force",
      headed by Mr. Robert Kornafel, and implemented by Deacon John Zarras,
      the OCA's "Transition Officer" selected by Metropolitan Herman.
      <http://www.oca.org/news.asp?ID=1133&SID=19>(Read those duties here)
      Specifically, by attempting to "direct the administrative and
      personnel services of the central administration" he irritated the
      Transition Officer, Deacon Zarras. Most recently, by attempting to
      serve as the "team leader" for planning the next All American
      Council, Bodnar irritated Bishop Nikon, the head of the Pre-Conciliar

      The dismissal is a blow to the Reorganization scheme carried out by
      "Reorganization Task Force" and Deacon Zarras. Just six months ago
      Bodnar was highly touted by Kornafel's Task Force as someone who has
      "extensive experience in non-profit management activities and
      possesses in extraordinary quantity and quality the skills required
      of the position." <http://www.oca.org/news.asp?ID=1268&SID=19>(Read
      that report here) This glowing recommendation was followed by a
      August 11th press release on the first meeting of the new staff in
      which "All present were very positive about the outcome of this
      meeting, commenting on the productive and encouraging nature of their

      In the next three months, though, the new system came under
      increasing strain. It became clear that four new people, three of
      whom had no previous experience with Syosset or the OCA, could not
      replace one all-powerful Chancellor, especially when all were
      theoretically equal, and all were to report directly to a largely
      absent Metropolitan. By October the new Chancellor was complaining to
      the Synod that the system was unworkable.

      In June 2007 Deacon Zarras reported to the Metropolitan Council that
      it was "in a desire to assemble a staff of the highest possible
      caliber with clear definitions of job responsibilities and with the
      promise of developing into a cohesive team, that the utmost care has
      been given to getting it right." Clearly, it has not been possible to
      realize that desire, yet.

      - Mark Stokoe
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