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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Freed before his time

The Rev. Joseph W. Hughes, who ripped off millions from his parishioners at Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church in Rumson, is a free man. In June, he was sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to stealing more than $75,000 from the church from 1997 through 2004. He's been paroled after serving only six months. Guess it's a perk of participating in the state's Intensive Supervision Program, designed to help nonviolent defenders change their lives.

That $75,000 figure was a legal threshold for what Hughes took from the church treasury to fund a lifestyle unbefitting a parish priest: fancy cars, a boat, a home, vacations. The slightly more than $2 million he agreed to reimburse the church gives you an idea of how much he stole. Where he'll get the money to repay is another matter.

Six months in jail for that size theft doesn't seem right, especially for a person who misappropriated money from church members who trusted him. The public's faith in the justice system is diminished whenever the sentence actually served does not fit the crime. It surely didn't in Hughes' case.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is Bob Ingle such a fan of censorship? Why would someone that makes his living being oh-so-critical of others be so afraid of a little criticism directed his way? Please see the other APP blogs to see what Bob Ingle didn't want you to see.

1:40 AM, December 06, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Father Hughes release from jail a real lesson for the children of his school and others. Crime does pay 2 million and 6 months in jail.What a lesson in punishment to fit the crime.

8:42 AM, December 06, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the best part is, $2M and it took an audit to know it was missing.
My church doesnt see $2M over 10 years!!

10:02 AM, December 07, 2006  
Anonymous MRB said...

2 mil in Rumson is a drop in the bucket.....Church parishioners are taking up a "special collection" as we speak

6:46 PM, December 07, 2006  
Blogger margaret said...

I am Catholic and ashamed of the actions this man of the cloth. He is human, and if truly repentant, should be forgiven.However, I am not one to believe that because one is a priest, minister, rabbi ,or anyone who is a spiritual shepherd, should avoid the penalties of law just because of their position. If anything, they are all the more culpable. Basketball players can say, "I'm not a role model" on television...priests CANNOT.

3:48 PM, December 08, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep on the Hughes story. There must be lots more behind and early release.
What an example of punishment fitting the crime.

8:34 PM, December 08, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I first met this man in wildwood crest new jersey where he owned and probably still does a very expensive ocean front condo. His mother, while alive, also owned one too. He claimed to have gotten it from his now deceased brother who owned an arcade on the wildwood boardwalk. He was boastful, proud, critical of others and certainly not the example of a priest. He probably still owns the condos. The state never revealed that. It's telling why a priest who ministered at a shore parish would travel the three hours to wildwood when he could walk to the beach from his rectory. What was he hiding then and is he hiding it now?

4:13 PM, July 06, 2007  

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