Gambling Priest Gets 4 Years Probation

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A DuPage County pastor was sentenced Tuesday to 60 days in jail and four years of probation for stealing roughly $300,000 from his church to support his gambling habit.

    The Rev. John Regan, 47, from St. Walter Church in Roselle, was also ordered to pay $295,000 in restitution and will serve 150 days on work release as well as perform 500 hours of community service work.

    Some parishioners cried when Regan was led away in handcuffs.

    The sentence, handed down by Judge John Kinsella, was a just punishment, according to several parishioners who forgave their former leader.

    That includes some who even testified for the state.

    "I think it was fair. I think our parish needs to move on and I think it was difficult for the judge because the other extreme was a minimum of four years in the penitentiary," said parishioner Bryan Mraz.

    Mraz had previously testified that the ordeal had "shaken my faith in priests" and said that a gambling addiction is "is a lame excuse to try to get a lighter sentence."

    Mraz testified that Regan used to say in his sermons that he gave half of his $25,000 salary to charity and encouraged parishioners to do the same. 

    Regan pleaded guilty to the financial crimes in June.  He faced up to 15 years in prison.