(CBS) — A Northlake man accused of forging a divorce document to get his church’s blessing to remarry has been cleared of criminal charges, after his attorney successfully argued the prosecution was a violation of the separation of church and state.
WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports Steve Fanady was accused of forging the stamp of a Cook County judge and the signature of an attorney on a bogus divorce judgment, so he could get a religious annulment from the Greek Orthodox Church, and be able to remarry.
His lawyer, Joel Brodsky, said the issue was between Fanady and his church, not Fanady and the state.
“One could say that, if a Catholic went to confession to get absolution, and lied to the priest, and got absolution, he could be charged with deceptive practices and theft by deception,” Brodsky said. “Church and state are separate, thank God, in this country.”
Fanady said the allegations against him were untrue, and he’s glad to have the case behind him.
“It’s a relief, and it’s really fine to just get on with life,” he said. “When the matter first came out, it’s very distressful, it caused a lot of loss of sleep, it was very disconcerting.”
He said he’s faced no repercussions from the church over the allegations.