Father Dunne Receives Five Years' Probation for Theft


Father Patrick Dunne, former pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows parish in White Plains, was sentenced to time served and five years' probation for stealing $432,000 in parish funds over a six-year period.

He had pleaded guilty to second-degree grand larceny Oct. 20.

Judge Jeffrey Cohen, now a state Supreme Court judge in Orange County, returned to Westchester County Court in White Plains for the sentencing Jan. 12. He transferred Father Dunne's probation to Dutchess County, where the priest will live at a parish.

As a condition of his probation, the judge said, Father Dunne cannot be put in charge of finances during his five-year probation term.

Auxiliary Bishop Dennis J. Sullivan, vicar general of the archdiocese, delivered a victims' impact statement to the court.

At the time of the plea bargain, Judge Cohen said he accepted the plea only because the victim—the Church—was "made whole," according to published reports. As part of the plea agreement, Father Dunne must pay restitution to the archdiocese up to the full amount of the theft.

Father Dunne was removed from his post at Our Lady of Sorrows in January 2008, when the archdiocese began inquiries into undocumented funds withdrawn from a parish account. The archdiocese alerted the Westchester County District Attorney's Office shortly afterward.

At the time of his removal, the archdiocese said Father Dunne had used the parish funds to support a gambling addiction. He subsequently entered a rehabilitation program, the archdiocese said.