+Nikolai Sues OCA for $11 Million
The Courthouse News Service reported yesterday, January 15th, that the former Bishop of Sitka, Nikolai (Soraich) filed papers on January 12th in the Nassau County Supreme Court for an $11 million "wrongful termination in breach of contract" lawsuit against the Orthodox Church in America. The summary of docket #09-00495 states:
"The defendant forced plaintiff Nikolai to retire from his position as bishop without any cause. That position is supposed to last for life according to the defendant's statute. Nikolai was placed at the center of the defendant's politics and used as a scapegoat for its own already existing interior scandals and financial and leadership breakdown. Nikolai has sought exile in an Australian monastery and has no way of earning an income. $11 million."
If this sounds familiar it is because the OCA has heard many of these charges before. Speaking to the Associated Press in 2006 about his client, former Chancellor of the OCA, Robert S. Kondratick, attorney Harry Kutner is quoted as saying his client was dismissed because ".... leaders of the denomination (the OCA) are scapegoating Kondratick to maintain their authority in the church."
The similarities between the two complaints are not all that the deposed priest and retired Bishop share. Representing the retired Bishop of Sitka is attorney Lloyd Weinstein, of The Weinstein Group. Weinstein's small legal firm is a "Hauppauge NY group of attorneys focusing attention on all aspects of litigated matters, on specialized immigration work permits and asset recovery matters." He is perhaps better known (at least throughout the OCA) as the attorney who has replaced Harry Kutner for Robert S. Kondratick in his ongoing $25 million lawsuit against the OCA.
(Read that story here)
- Mark Stokoe