HUBER HEIGHTS, Ohio (WDTN) — A Huber Heights priest has issued a letter of apology for stealing more than a million dollars from his own parishioners.
The letter was inserted in the St. Peter church bulletin over the weekend from former pastor Father Earl Simone. He pleaded guilty in March to aggravated theft after millions of dollars came up missing over a period of 20 years from St. Peter Church.
In the letter, Simone addresses the members of the parish accepting responsibility for his actions, but blatantly stating he couldn’t explain the reasons for his wrongdoing.
Father Earl Simone wrote, “What went wrong? I cannot honestly answer that question at this time. I know what I did was wrong, but I am struggling to explain it to myself, yet alone to anyone else.”
The letter comes as the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and St. Peter Catholic Church have filed a civil suit against Simone and ten “John Does,” according to Montgomery County Court records.
The suit alleges ten people knew about the stolen money, but didn’t stop Simone, and instead tried to help cover it up. Those ten people have not been named.
In March, Simone was ordered to pay back $1.9 million and serve five years in prison after taking a plea deal for aggravated theft.
He was supposed to be sentenced in April, but it was delayed for medical reasons. A formal sentencing date will be rescheduled.