Priest gets 10 years' probation for stealing $98,000 from Pennsylvania church he once pastored

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GREENSBURG, Pennsylvania — A Roman Catholic priest will serve 10 years' probation for stealing $98,000 from the western Pennsylvania church he used to pastor.

The Rev. Emil Payer was also ordered to repay the money, which was less than the $124,000 Westmoreland County detectives originally alleged he stole.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review ( ) reports Payer's attorney was able to document that $26,000 went to legitimate church expenses.

Payer allegedly stole the money from the Church of the Seven Dolors in Yukon, a tiny village in South Huntingdon Township. Payer was at the church from October 2008 through August 2011.

Greensburg Bishop Lawrence Brandt placed Payer on administrative leave and in July 2012 issued new parish financial procedures in the diocese which serves more than 160,000 Roman Catholics in Armstrong, Fayette, Indiana and Westmoreland counties.

Information from: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

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