As a part of a $350,000 lawsuit filed by the diocese of Brandon against its former executive archdeacon Noah Njegovan in March, a Brandon court has granted the diocese’s request to extend a temporary freeze of Njegovan’s assets until the case is settled.
According to the diocese’s statement of claim, Njegovan was employed as the executive archdeacon, responsible for the diocese’s bookkeeping, including payroll and preparation of budgets and financial statements, from 2009 to 2012 when some financial irregularities were found.
The claim alleges that he used a corporate credit card with a limit of $2,500 for his own purposes, then paid the bill from the diocese’s deposit account, which was not subject to the detailed accounting of its general account, and intercepted bills from the mail to hide the transactions. These allegations have not been proven and no statement of defence has yet been filed.
Bishop James Njegovan has refrained from involvement in or comment on the case because Noah Njegovan is his son.
When contacted, Archdeacon Tom Stradwick said the diocese has no comment on the case while the forensic audit of its finances is still ongoing. But he did confirm that details of a report in the Winnipeg Free Press about Njegovan’s alleged spending of more than $202,286 were in keeping with allegations in new documents filed with the court by the diocese. The newspaper reported that expenses included $90,175 in cash advances, $46,660 spent on meal and bar bills, $13,277 on hotels, $8,107 on fuel and travel and $6,791 on three trips to Las Vegas. Another $31,488 was spent on purchases including clothing, a Netflix subscription and massages.
The lawsuit claims damages of $250,000 for fraud, breach of trust, breach of contract and fraudulent misrepresentation. The claim also lists punitive and exemplary damages of $100,000.
Njegovan’s lawyer, Robert Harrison, told the Anglican Journal that neither he nor his client wished to comment.