22-month conditional sentence for disgraced archdeacon

 

22-month conditional sentence for disgraced archdeacon

Author: 

George Conger

The former Archdeacon of Brandon, the Ven. Noah Njegovan, has been given a 22-month conditional sentence by a Manitoba court following his conviction for fraud.

On 9 January 2017 Justice John Menzies of the Brandon Court of Queen’s Bench in Manitoba declined to send the former archdeacon to prison for his crimes, but agreed to a sentencing agreement reached by prosecutors and the defendant that would require him to abide by a curfew with permission to leave home for work and for emergencies.

Appointed archdeacon by his father, the Bishop of Brandon, the Rt. Rev. James Njegovan, Noah Njegovan defrauded the diocese by incurring $90,175 in credit card cash advances, $46,660 in meal and bar bills, $13,277 spent at hotels, $8,107 spent on fuel and travel and $6,791 for three trips to Las Vegas between January 2010 and September 2012. A further $31,488 was spent on purchases such as clothing and massages, the statement of claim stated.

An audit of diocesan finances in 2013 uncovered the thefts. On Palm Sunday 2015, Bishop Njegovan announced that he was retiring in July after 13-and-a-half-years of episcopal service. “For some this announcement may come as a surprise,” he said in his pastoral letter to the diocese. But, he added “as much as I may regret it—it will not be entirely unwelcome news.”

The Court heard testimony that Njegovan's parents had sold their to pay back the diocese for their son’s crimes. In a victim impact statement, Diocese of Brandon the Rt. Rev. William Cliff told the court the church forgave Njegovan and did not want him to be imprisoned.  Njegovan had been deposed from the ministry and "We believe that he has suffered punishment enough in the loss of career, funds and reputation, not to mention the anguish caused his parents," the bishop wrote.

In his summing up, Justice Menzies called Njegovan’s crimes a “horrible, horrible offence, and noted: "An organization that preaches trust and giving the benefit of the doubt … pays for that,” the CBC reported.

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