UPDATE ON ST. NICHOLAS INVESTIGATION
– PHASE 1 PRELIMINARY FINDINGS ANNOUNCED AT ARCHDIOCESAN COUNCIL
PITTSBURGH – On May
4, 2018, Elaine Allen, Chairman of the Standing Audit Committee of the
Archdiocesan Council, of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, announced the
substantial completion of Phase 1 of the St. Nicholas Special Investigative Committee’
s (SIC) investigation into the management and finances of the St. Nicholas
Church and National Shrine project. The SIC has received
PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) Phase 1 draft report and is expected to announce
its findings to the Executive Committee of the Archdiocesan Council imminently.
Among key findings from Phase 1, the amount owed by the Archdiocese to
St. Nicholas has been confirmed to be less than $3.7 million, with the exact
dollar figure to be finalized in the coming weeks. Moreover, the review found
that all other monies raised to fund the St. Nicholas project are accounted
for, and that the expenditure of these funds was consistent with donor
As a result of the aggressive financial restructuring efforts undertaken
by the Archdiocese over the last year, led by Treasurer Mike Psaros, the
Archdiocese has already repaid $1million of the pending total amount it owes to
St. Nicholas, and will voluntarily pay interest on the full amount owed to the
project. The Archdiocese will also make a voluntary contribution of $670,000 to
St. Nicholas. This amount represents the full amount of unrestricted investment
returns generated on donations from 2001 – 2012.
Finally, Ms. Allen announced that the Archdiocese will repay its debt to
St. Nicholas with interest. The amount of the interest payment will be
confirmed following the SIC’s completion of the findings report, which will
include the finalized amount owed by the Archdiocese to St. Nicholas.
Phase 2 of the SIC’s investigation is also being conducted by PwC. The
work is ongoing and includes a review of the St. Nicholas project’s baseline
costs and cost increases, a review of design changes, and an analysis of vendor
payments with the goal of identifying potential non-disclosed relationships between
the St. Nicholas project management team and vendors paid with St. Nicholas
funds. The SIC’s findings report is expected to complete within one month.
Immediately following the completion of Phase 2, Phase 3 of the SIC’s
investigation will begin. It will largely be a project management and design
exercise intended to finalize construction plans, costs, and a revised timeline
for completion of the project.
The SIC is committed to completing its comprehensive and exhaustive investigation
into mismanagement allegations
around the St. Nicholas project, and to addressing all issues potentially
raised in this investigation before construction proceeds.
St. Nicholas Church will be a sacred space with its doors open to all. As a
National Shrine on hallowed ground, it will stand in memorial to
the lives lost on September 11, 2001, as a symbol of reconciliation, and as a
spiritual beacon of hope and for generations to come. The Archdiocese
remains committed to the completion of this deeply meaningful landmark and spiritual
capstone to the World Trade Center site redevelopment effort.