A Roselle priest jailed for gambling away about $300,000 of his church's money will be released for Thanksgiving and Christmas, a DuPage County judge ruled Tuesday.
Judge John Kinsella granted one-day furloughs for each holiday to Rev. John Regan, who pleaded guilty in August to stealing from St. Walter Catholic Church in Roselle to feed a gambling addiction.
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Regan's attorney, Jack Donahue, said his client intends to spend the holidays fulfilling his priestly duties.
"He's still a practicing priest, so I'm sure he's going to be engaging in ministerial work," Donahue said.
Kinsella granted the request without comment over the objection of a prosecutor, who argued Regan already received a "fortunate" sentence of probation and jail.
"It's the state's position he should be in the penitentiary," Assistant State's Attorney Helen Kapas said.
Regan was sentenced in September to a 60-day jail term, followed by 150 days of work-release. He received credit for good behavior and completed the first term, and is now allowed to leave jail for work and for one 12-step meeting each week, authorities said.
As part of the sentence, Kinsella ordered Regan to find a job "as menial as possible." Records show Regan is working for A.J. Dralle Inc., a Joliet manufacturer of paint booth filtration products, as "production support" in the company's sewing department. His duties include packing, shipping and other labor.
Regan also must pay $295,000 in restitution and complete four years of probation, 500 hours of public service and 40 days of work detail for the sheriff's office.
Dubbed the "riverboat priest" by prosecutors at sentencing, Regan, 48, admitted he gambled away about $300,000 in church funds starting about two months after he was hired at St. Walter in July 2006.