Presbyterian officer fired, admits taking $100,000: Restitution and insurance should cover losses

August 8, 2006

A top treasury official of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) was fired after she admitted to embezzlement, denomination executives have announced.

More than $100,000 in church funds have disappeared. Church officials in Louisville, Kentucky, said restitution and insurance should cover the losses. They also said the case will be handled by prosecutors, reported the Presbyterian News Service.

Judy A. Golliher, who was the denomination’s second-ranking financial officer, was confronted after staffers discovered the theft on June 27, according to a statement July 6 by the General Assembly Council. Golliher confessed to the embezzlement and officials ended her employment.

The missing funds had been in the denomination’s general operating fund, which includes church members’ contributions and interest on church investments. Church officials expect that programs will not be affected by the theft.

“Our own internal processes detected the misconduct and we took immediate action,” said Linda Valentine, who began working as the General Assembly Council’s new executive director in the same week that the firing was announced.

Golliher, who served as treasurer for the PCUSA church corporation, said she would repay the amount she admitted stealing, officials reported. –Religion News Service