Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- News 12 confirms a priest has been removed for theft of funds at St. Mary on the Hill Catholic Church.
According to the church, Father Avery Hanna, a Parochial Vicar at the church, has been placed on administrative leave and no longer resides at the church.
Pastor Gerald Ragan made the announcement to church members at mass on Sunday.
"Father Avery Hanna, a priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Savannah, has been placed on administrative leave by the Diocese as a result of criminal charges involving the theft of church property. Father Hanna, a native of the Bahamas and an Assistant Pastor at St. Mary on the Hill in Augusta, Georgia, has been placed on administrative leave as a result of his theft of tuition payments from the church office over a period of several weeks.
The total amount believed to have been stolen is approximately $1,700.00. As a result of these acts, which Father Hanna has admitted, criminal charges will be brought against him. Father Hanna has been removed from St. Mary on the Hill in Augusta and will reside at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Savannah pending the outcome of the criminal charges and a determination of his immigration status."
News 12 reached out to the Richmond County Sheriff's Office to find out the status of the investigation.
Stay with News 12 as we follow this story.