OMAHA, Nebraska — A former chancellor for the Archdiocese of Omaha who is already charged with two felony counts has been charged with a new count of theft after authorities say he stole more than $100,000 from a church in Sarpy County.
Father Michael Gutgsell was charged with the third count last week and faces a preliminary hearing on the new charge on Feb. 8, the Omaha World-Herald reported.
Gutgsell was first arrested in October and charged with attempted theft and abuse of a vulnerable adult.
Police have said that Gutgsell admitted to taking $180,000 from the bank accounts of retired Omaha priest Theodore Richling, who was suffering from Alzheimer’s at the time.
Richling, who died in December 2019, was accused of several incidents of sexual misconduct with minor, and in 2020, the archdiocese said an investigation substantiated those accusations. Gutgsell had been assigned power of attorney to take care of Richling.
Police have said that during the same September interview of Gutgsell that led to his October arrest, he also admitted taking $106,000 from his former parish, St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Springfield. Gutgsell said he gave the money to a homeless man, police said.
The archdiocese announced Gutgsell’s resignation in August, saying a routine audit had uncovered the theft. The archdiocese has said it would not comment further on Gutgsell’s case.
An attorney for Gutgsell did not immediately return a phone message Monday seeking comment.