DENVER — In a lawsuit filed in Denver District Court last week, two parents of students at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School accuse Father Andrew Kemberling of "willful financial misconduct," and say the Archdiocese was aware of the issue but did nothing to stop it.
Father Andrew was appointed as pastor at the school and parish in 2014. The complaint alleges that over the course of five years he lost more than $2 million of the school's assets and used restricted funds to cover things the money was not appropriated for.
According to the complaint, that included money from one of the plaintiffs that was meant to cover the cost of school for four kids whose father had passed away from cancer.
The complaint says Father Andrew drained the fund from more than $200,000 down to $12,500. David Wolf, one of two plaintiffs, was the anonymous donor who funded that account.
In another instance, Father Andrew is accused of using tuition money to cover costs in the parish.
The two parents say the school officially complained five times to the Archdiocese of Denver but says their concerns were ignored.
In an emailed statement, the Archdiocese of Denver said the money in question is not missing, but was spent on the following:
• Upgrades to the fire and security system
• Upgrades to the audio and video systems
• Facility improvements for the school and gymnasium
• Upgrades to the church’s air conditioning system
• New computer and technology equipment
“We understand that parishioners have had concerns that need to be addressed, but we find the allegations in the lawsuit to be overstated and misleading," the Archdiocese wrote in the statement. "We are confident that the results of the independent examination will reveal the truth.”
This is not a criminal case, but the two parents want people to pay for what they believe is civil theft, negligence, and fraudulent nondisclosure among other things.
Father Andrew resigned last summer but he is still a priest, now working in a lesser role as a vicar at St. Francis of Cabrini in Littleton.
9NEWS reached out to both Father Andrew and the attorney representing the plaintiffs but as of this publication had not heard back.
SUGGESTED VIDEOS | Local stories from 9NEWS