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Ex-Diocese Chancellor To Plead Guilty To Felony Theft Charges

Things started to go bad for Monsignor Edward Arsenault in May, when he stepped down as President of the St. Luke Institute, a priest treatment center in Maryland.

Arsenault quit the job – and its $170,000 salary -- when prosecutors announced an investigation into misuse of church finds and an improper adult relationship.

Prosecutors say between 2005 and March of last year, Edward Arsenault stole thousands of dollars from the Manchester diocese, the Catholic Medical Center and the estate of another priest.

From 1999-2009 Arsenault was Chancellor at the Manchester Diocese, and its public face during the diocese’s clergy sexual abuse settlement with the state.

In the agreement announced by Attorney General Joseph Foster and US Attorney John Kacavas, Arsenault will admit to 3 class A felonies.

Each count carries a maximum sentence of 15 years.

But under the plea deal, which cites Arsenault’s “extensive cooperation,” he would serve would serve 4 years in New Hampshire state prison.

Arsenault’s attorney Cathy Green had no comment on the deal.

The diocese of Manchester, meanwhile, said in a statement it would offer more information “when it was appropriate”  but until final disposition by the court Arsenault’s case remains an ongoing criminal matter.

The diocese also noted it reported Arsenault’s conduct to law enforcement and fully cooperated with “ an exhaustive investigation.”  

Edward Arsenault’s plea and sentencing hearing is set for April 23rd at Hillsborough County Superior Court in Manchester.

Josh has worked at NHPR since 2000.

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