Crime

Priest in Johnson County allegedly stole more than $40,000 from his church

The Rev. Joseph Cramer
The Rev. Joseph Cramer Johnson County Sheriff's Office

A Catholic priest in Johnson County has been charged with stealing more than $40,000 from a Gardner parish while he served as pastor.

Father Joseph Cramer was booked into the Johnson County Jail Tuesday night and was released after posting a $5,000 bond.

Cramer, 68, is charged in Johnson County District Court with felony theft and two counts of felony computer crime.

The money was allegedly stolen from Divine Mercy Parish in Gardner where Cramer served as pastor.

The thefts allegedly occurred between November 2015 and May 2016, according to court documents.

Officials with the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas said they learned of possible "financial irregularities" last September and passed information along to the Johnson County District Attorney's Office.

Cramer was placed on administrative leave and has since resigned as pastor, the archdiocese said in a written statement.

"This has been a very painful process for all involved," Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann said in the statement. "I ask for continued prayers for Father Cramer, and the parishioners of Divine Mercy, especially, at this difficult time."

Available court documents do not say how the alleged crimes occurred or how the money was spent.

But as a condition of his bond, Cramer was ordered to stay away from any casino.

Court records don't show a lawyer for Cramer, who is scheduled to make his initial court appearance May 17.

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