The El Paso Police Department Tuesday arrested two Brothers of the Poor of St. Francis after a financial investigation at St. Joseph Catholic School.
Edwin Gallagher, 81, and Richard Fish, 72, who were the principal and assistant principal of the school, were arrested after a grand jury indicted them on one count each of Misapplication of Fiduciary / Financial
Property over $200,000 and Theft over $200,000, according to a news release.
The department’s Financial Crimes detectives investigated after an audit by the Catholic Diocese revealed that the two had used more then $800,000 for personal use.
The money was reportedly used by the duo on lavish expenses at department stores and restaurants, and for air travel and lodging. Money was also withdrawn at various casinos. Investigators say the money was misused between June 2010 to July 2015.
Both of them were arrested and booked under $5,000 bonds.
According to the Catholic Diocese of El Paso, both men retired in 2015.
“The Diocese has always expected its employees, whether religious or lay persons, to obey the civil and criminal laws of the State of Texas,” a statement from the Diocese read. “The Diocese also understands that the District Attorney has an obligation to ask the Grand Jury to indict individuals when there is evidence that they have committed a crime. However, the Diocese asks that all Catholics and non-Catholics alike reserve judgment on Brother Gallagher and Brother Fish until the criminal proceedings have run their course.”
The Diocese added that both men worked at the school for more than 25 years.
“Both were much loved and respected for their work,” the statement said. “The Diocese asks those who lives were touched by them to pray for a just and merciful resolution of their cases.”