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Huntington Beach church leader under internal investigation for potential financial misconduct

Huntington Beach church leader under internal investigation for potential financial misconduct
A rector from St. Wilfrid of York Church in Huntington Beach is under investigation on suspicion of financial misconduct, church leaders said Wednesday. (Bing Maps / Daily Pilot)

A Huntington Beach church rector is undergoing an internal investigation for possible financial misconduct, church leaders said Wednesday.

The Rev. Canon Michael D. Archer of St. Wilfrid of York Church was placed on administrative leave Aug. 29, said Robert Williams, an Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles spokesman.

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Williams added that he did not know what prompted the investigation.

“The allegations were reviewed by both the bishop and a diocesan committee and have been deemed serious enough to warrant an investigation,” according to a Sept. 2 letter to parishioners from two St. Wilfrid’s vestry church wardens cited in the Orange County Register.

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St. Wilfrid declined to provide a copy of the letter to the Daily Pilot, instead referring questions to Williams.

“We are confident that the procedures called for in the rules of our church will provide for the proper combination of accountability and reconciliation for which we strive as people of faith,” Williams said in a statement Wednesday. “We’ll know more about what that picture looks like when we know all the facts.”

The Huntington Beach Police Department is not investigating the case, according to a spokeswoman quoted in the Register.

The Rev. John Harvey Taylor, bishop of the six-county Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, said in a statement that Archer “promised to cooperate fully.”

“Under The Episcopal Church’s canons, respondents are presumed to be innocent until the facts show otherwise,” Taylor said.

Archer joined St. Wilfrid in 2005. He previously worked at churches in Oklahoma, Arizona and throughout California.

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