Omaha priest's 2nd six-figure theft case nearing possible 'resolution'
A once high-ranking Omaha priest, accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars, was back in court Tuesday—his attorney speaking openly about a possible resolution of one of two criminal cases.
73-year-old Father Michael Gutgsell —who is facing up to 20 years in prison accused of stealing $125,000 from St. Joseph Church in Springfield—was scheduled to have a preliminary hearing in Sarpy County Court Tuesday.
Instead the case was delayed until March 1st, after Gutgsell’s attorney indicated discussions with prosecutors are in the works.
Leaving court the attorney would not comment any further.
At the same time Gutgsell, former Chancellor of the Omaha archdiocese, is awaiting trial in Douglas County in a second theft case, where he’s accused of raiding the bank account of another priest who was in poor health.
Gutgsell, who had power of attorney over Fr. Ted Richling, is accused of stealing $155,000 from Richling.
Gutgsell's lawyer has indicated that his client had every intention of giving the money back but handed it over to a homeless con-artist, who promised to repay Gutsgell but never did.
Gutgsell is also accused of failing to tell police about at least two sexual abuse cases involving priests in the Omaha archdiocese. One of those priests was Richling.
A recent investigation by the Nebraska Attorney General said Gutgsell and others in top positions of the Catholic Church in Nebraska did nothing to stop the sexual abuse of children over the past 40 years.