Bishop Pilla testifies in Cleveland

Former Cleveland Bishop, Anthony Pilla, testified yesterday in the corruption trial involving former diocesan officials. Prosecutors called Pilla to testify, but when the defense attorney sought to press Pilla on whether he personally benefited from sweetheart deals, the judge, Ann Aldrich, ruled in favor of the prosecutors objections and shut down this line of questioning.

One exchange in court was memorable, if only for Bishop Pillas demonstration that he is not a fan of movie classics. When asked by Assistant U.S. Attorney, John Siegel, about his reaction to a letter he received in January 2004 informing him of allegations (and corroborating evidence) of a kickback scheme in the diocese, Pilla said he was Shocked, Shocked because he had complete trust in his chief financial officer. As any Casablanca fan knows, Inspector Renault is shocked, shocked, to find gambling at Ricks Caf.

The front-page story from todays Cleveland Plain Dealer can be found here.

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