Ex-pastor gets probation in church theft

Photo by Ron Leir The Rev. James J. Reilly

By Ron Leir

‘One week shy of his 69th birthday,” as his lawyer put it, the Rev. James J. Reilly, disgraced pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows Church, Kearny, was sentenced to three years’ probation for stealing from his former parishioners.
During the sentencing proceeding held last Thursday, Reilly also was ordered to make full restitution to the Kearny parish by Hudson County Superior Court Judge Kevin Callahan.
Callahan set a hearing date of July 20 at 1:30 p.m. to determine exactly how much Reilly will have to compensate OLS. The judge said the “alleged amount” of money taken has been pegged at $87,000 but didn’t elaborate.
In the meantime, the judge ordered Reilly to begin with payments of $100 a month – the amount  the priest’s attorney, Grant McGuire, represented to the court that his client could afford right now.
Assistant Hudson County Prosecutor Leo Hernandez had asked that the court impose some custodial time as part of the sentence. “He stole from his parishioners,” Hernandez said. “This is the very type of crime that offends the very parish he served, and there is a strong need to deter this behavior from happening in the future.”

To read the full story, see this week’s issue of The Observer.




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