New York.- GreekNewsOnline
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese released on Wednesday March 16 the Phase I report of PricewaterhouseCoopers on St. Nicholas Church. There wasn’t an official press release by the Department of Communications and the report and an executive summary were just posted on the web site with a short announcement.
The Phase II of the report will be released in the coming weeks and “will discuss procedures and observations regarding the baseline costs of the St. Nicholas Shrine; the causes of cost increases and design changes to the Shrine; and undisclosed relationships, if any, between the Shrine’s project management and vendors paid from St. Nicholas funds.”
The SNCNS accounts payable balance as of December 31, 2017 ($8,880,633)
includes disputed vendor invoices totaling $35,005. The GOA challenged the
invoices, but the vendors have not issued credits as of April 15, 2018.
In order to promote transparency and accountability, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America has posted, on its website, the results of Phase I of the PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory Services LLC (“PwC”) investigative report (“Report”) regarding the rebuilding of Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine.
Yesterday (May 15) BakerHostetler, counsel to the Special Investigative Committee that was authorized by the Archdiocese to conduct an independent review of the St. Nicholas project (the “SIC”), released the Report to the SIC, which, in turn, has forwarded the Report to the Archdiocese. The full text of the PwC report can be found here. archdiocese-SNCNS Final Phase I Report 05.15.2018
According to the Report, PwC was able to confirm that expenditures from St. Nicholas funds were, in fact, used for St. Nicholas-related purposes, and, therefore, met donor restrictions. The Report does indicate that the Archdiocese borrowed the sum of $3,504,550 from the St. Nicholas fund for general Archdiocesan expenditures. On May 2, the Archdiocese returned $1,000,000 to the fund, reducing the balance owed by the Archdiocese to the St. Nicholas fund, to $2,504,550 plus interest.
Phase II of the Report will discuss procedures and observations regarding the baseline costs of the St. Nicholas Shrine; the causes of cost increases and design changes to the Shrine; and undisclosed relationships, if any, between the Shrine’s project management and vendors paid from St. Nicholas funds. The findings of Phase II are expected in the coming weeks and will also be made available to the faithful.
SOME OF THE FINDINGS
The report on Jerry Dimitriou’s salary:
“The GOA charged SNCNS $288,638 for a portion of the authorized salary of the former GOA Executive Director of Administration for the time he spent on SNCNS rebuilding related activities during the period January 2013 to September 2017”
QUESTION: WAS THIS AMOUNT ADDITIONAL TO Mr. DIMITRIOU’s SALARY?
The Report on Fundraising activities and related travel expenses
“The GOA incurred fundraising costs of approximately $532,000 related to the SNCNS Capital Campaign. The current GOA administration determined that no fundraising costs would be included in the SNCNS related cash outflows
GOA personnel incurred costs traveling to SNCNS related meetings and events. Further, the SNCNS accounts included charges for couriers, messengers, overnight shipping and other miscellaneous activities. The GOA administration determined that such amounts, totaling approximately $43,000, would not be included in the SNCNS related cash outflows. PwC analyzed the transactions underlying the amounts above and assigned such transactions to categories based on the general ledger descriptions and input from the GOA.”
In a footnote: “The GOA reversed fundraising costs and GOA travel, transportation and other entries totaling $190,000 and $17,000, respectively, from the 2016 and 2017 SNCNS general ledger accounts.”
QUESTION: WERE ACTUALLY THESE FUNDRAISING COSTS (ALMOST HALF A MILLION) PAID BY THE ARCHDIOCESE? IF YES TO WHOM? WHAT ABOUT THE TRIPS?
The report on the Architects costs (5 companies, Festina is Calatrava’s)
Festina Lente LLP $ 2,800,877
Koutsomitis Architects PC 2,000,494
RKK & G Museum & Cultural 1,136,709
Westlake Reed Leskosky 243,361
Gallagher & Associates 86,155
Total Architecture $ 6,267,597
QUESTION: WHY SO MANY ARCHITECTS? KOUTSOMITIS WAS THE INITIAL ARCHITECT. WHY WAS HE PAID TWO MILLION?
The report on Construction Management costs
Lighthouse Advisors $ 706,494
Gorton & Partners 672,201
Merritt Construction 319,499
Total Construction Management $ 1,698,194
QUESTION: WHAT IS EXACTLY THE ROLE OF THESE FOUR COMPANIES? WERE THEY NECESSARY FOR THE PROJECT?