BURLINGTON, VT. >> A Catholic priest has been on indefinite leave from his Burlington parish since last summer for misspending more than $23,000 in church funds and comments he made toward staff.

The Most Rev. Christopher Coyne, the bishop of Burlington, tells Vermont Public Radio that the Rev. Richard O'Donnell was placed on leave from Christ the King-St. Anthony Parish in July 2015.

Coyne says a diocesan audit and outside investigation found that O'Donnell didn't break any laws, but he had a problem with being overly generous with parish money.

O'Donnell spent the money on gifts for staff, lavish tips for service and personal mileage reimbursements. He was also reprimanded for "inappropriate behavior and language toward staff."

O'Donnell wasn't defrocked, but he can't perform any priestly duties. He couldn't be reached for comment.



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