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Judge Orders Priest To Keep Working To Pay Off Gambling Debt

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WHEATON, Ill. (AP) – A judge has ordered a Roman Catholic priest who stole more than $400,000 from his former church, in part to feed a gambling addiction, to continue working a low-wage job.

DuPage Circuit Judge John Kinsella ordered the Rev. John Regan to work as part of his 2011 sentence for theft.

Regan and his attorney, Jack Donahue, on Thursday sought court approval for Regan to return to full-time ministry work.

Regan works a $9-an-hour job in a Joliet air filter factory. Donahue said Regan could earn twice as much as a priest, and therefore can more quickly make restitution.

Regan pleaded guilty to stealing funds from St. Walter Catholic Church over two years.

The Diocese of Joliet removed Regan from the position in July 2008, after an audit uncovered accounting irregularities.