- Associated Press - Thursday, June 30, 2016

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - Federal court records show that a Catholic priest charged with stealing nearly $151,000 from two small parishes to fund his gambling has negotiated a diversion agreement.

The agreement filed Wednesday would delay Thomas Leland’s prosecution for 18 months and result in the dismissal of the case if it’s approved and he adheres to its terms. The Wichita Eagle (https://bit.ly/294ULZ7) reports that Leland is accused of taking unauthorized reimbursements, salary advances and overpayments and too much money for conducting church services while he was the parish priest at St. Francis in St. Paul and at St. Ambrose in Erie.

Diocesan spokeswoman Amy Pavlacka has said Leland was removed from his position after coming forward in March 2014. His attorney didn’t immediately return a phone message from The Associated Press seeking comment.


Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, https://www.kansas.com

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