Cardinal John Cody had money from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago deposited into two previously unaudited, personally controlled accounts and the archdiocese paid a Chicago law firm nearly $185,000 for his defense before a federal grand jury, according to a financial statement released by the archdiocese this week.
The statement discloses what may end up as the final information on the protracted scandal centered on Cody.
Cody had been under federal investigation for alleged mishandling of church funds. The investigation ended with his death last April. Cardinal-designate Joseph Bernardin succeeded Cody as archbishop of the archdiocese in August and pledged that he would open up all church finances to the public. The archdiocese is the largest and wealthiest in the country.
The financial statement, released this week, covered the fiscal year ending last June 30. The audit was made by Touche Ross and Co., a Chicago accounting firm.
The statement disclosed that chancery officials, directed by Cody, deposited $63,000 into Cody's "private account" and $75,000 into his "household account." The archdiocese had previously refused to acknowledge that such accounts existed. The Rev. Timothy J. Lyne, coordinator of a special audit committee set up by Bernardin last year, said in a briefing on the statement that the two accounts were closed after Cody died.
Cody circumvented the chancery payroll to finance salaries of "one or two" lay employes from his privately controlled funds, Lyne said. Miscellaneous discretionary accounts controlled by Cody contained $277,000, according to the statement.
The statement also disclosed that the archdiocese paid a Chicago law firm $550,000 in fees, of which nearly $185,000 was spent directly on Cody's defense. It was uncertain if Cody contributed any of his personal funds to his defense, Lyne said.