Weekender Updater: $20 Million for Catholics; Guilty Wife Killer; PTO Embezzler Un-Jailed

Fixer upper?
Fixer upper?
Photo by flickr user Gord McKenna

This weekend's Weekender Updater looks at a $20 million hail Mary for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, conviction for a wife killer and the jail's revolving door for a Parent Teacher Organization embezzler.

Story: Catholic Rector Tapped For Crystal Cathedral Update: An anonymous donor pledged $20 million to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange County to renovate and enhance the Garden Grove place of worship formerly known as Crystal Cathedral. Now known as Christ Cathedral, the former home of Hour of Powerman Robert Schuller's ministry was bought by the diocese through bankruptcy court two years ago. More than 24,000 parishioners and donors have pledged about $85 million over the past two years to the capital campaign aimed at creating the seat for the diocese. The campus is open and available to tour, but the cathedral won't reopen until 2016.

Story: Arthur Andrew Andrade of Tustin Charged with Gunning Down Estranged Wife Soria Esperanza

Update: Arthur Andrew Andrade Jr., 31, of Tustin, was convicted in Los Angeles Superior Court of first-degree murder for shooting his estranged wife outside the Montebello restaurant where she worked. Esperanza Andrade was shot six times in the head on March 16, 2013, after being confronted while sitting in her car in a parking lot outside the restaurant. Arthur Andrade, who had been free on just over $2 million bail, was taken into custody immediately after the verdict and faces 50 years to life in state prison at his scheduled Jan. 29 sentencing in LA.

Story: Gail Diane Panella-Monestere, Former Parent Teacher Group President, Accused of $22k Theft

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Update: Gail Diane Monestere, who embezzled more than $22,000 while president of the Parent Teacher Organization at Sun View Elementary School in Huntington Beach, has been in and out of jail as she has struggled to repay the PTO to avoid lockup. After ponying up another $2,500 installment, Monestere was kicked loose again. She's so far repaid more than $18,000 and has another $3,758 to go under a plea deal with Orange County Superior Court Judge Joanne Motoike in Westminster to pay back all the stolen money before Monestere's three-year probation ends. But she could also get more jail time for not having fully complied with the terms of her plea deal and for racking up debt on her father's credit card after he died.

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!


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