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CHICAGO (CBS) — A public feud among Greektown organizers over allegations of missing money has sponsors backing off from the community’s biggest event of the year.
As WBBM Newsradio’s David Roe reports, the annual Pan-Hellenic Parade and Festival is planned for April 22 along Halsted Street west of downtown, in celebration of the 192nd anniversary of the Greek Declaration of Independence.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s David Roe reports
But the Chicago Tribune reports a fiscal crisis has erupted and divided the community.
Angie Verros tells the Tribune that soon after she was hired as treasurer of Enosis – the church and community group organization that puts on the parade – she noticed more than $60,000 in transactions that had been conducted without her approval, and for some of which her signature was forged.
Verros claims the culprit was the president of Enosis, Dimitrios Georgakopoulos, who recruited Verros for the post, the Tribune reported.
Verros has filed a complaint about the transactions with the Illinois Attorney General’s office, and also had Georgakopoulos arrested on allegations that he assaulted her at an Enosis board meeting, the Tribune reported. The newspaper did not specify any details of the alleged assault.
Verros has also sued Georgakopoulos on allegations that the defrauded Enosis, and defamed her with articles in his Greek-language newspaper, the Tribune reported.
Georgakopoulos denies he assaulted Verros, and tells the Tribune she had him arrested six months after the incident allegedly happened. He also tells the newspaper he plans to countersue Verros, and says she waited almost a month to serve him with the lawsuit at a Greek Independence Day gala last year.
The Tribune reports the public battle has caused a rift in the Greek community, with only half the number of sponsors committing to the Greek Independence Day parade and festival later this month.