PHOTO: The two Greek Freaks, the benign one, a real good role model (left – one member of the Antetokoumpo family) and the real nasty “Greek freak”, Andriotis, on the right… (Photo from Greek Freak Week in Astoria).
Why GOA is using “conflict of interest” only against the Sideris Family? The “Elephant in the Room” is ALMA Realty and Nick Andriotis. Do they really think the State Attorney General will not touch them?
By Nick Stamatakis
Following a full year of reporting by this writer on the various aspects of conflict of interest in the GOA, and after a very concise article on April 20, titled “Rampant Nepotism and Conflicts of Interest In the GOA: The Case Of St. Demetrios of Astoria”, the Archdiocese, apparently following the advice of their high-powered attorneys, decided to take action. In an unprecedented first step, GOA Chancellor, Fr. Andreas (Vythoulkas) sent a letter to the presiding priest of St.Demetrios of Astoria, Fr. Nektarios, demanding action on the case of conflict of interest regarding the president of the parish, Gary Sideris, and his wife, the principle of the elementary school, Betsy Sideris (their daughter is also a teacher at the same school). The parish was shaken by the unexpected action. But following a long-time practice of all abusers of power at all levels of the Patriarchate and the GOA, they did absolutely nothing, as far as we know, to resolve the issue.
We reported on the letter, immediately after it was known, on May 29, noting in our conclusion that the “Elephant in the Room” and the real culprit for myriad of “conflicts of interest” was ALMA REALTY, whose principal, Nick Andriotis has been the “godfather” of the parish for nearly five decades. As we have noted, Andriotis leads a “mafia gang” to take advantage of the community in many ways. Let’s enumerate some of the multiple “conflicts of interest” here.
- Andriotis and Papamichael (School Board President) are employees of Alma Realty and they have Community’s monies deposited in bank accounts maintained by Alma Realty.
- There was no vetting process conducted by the Community to have the Wantagh property managed by other management companies. Andriotis simply directed the Community that Alma Realty would manage the property.
- Alma Realty gave the Archdiocese a multi-million dollar mortgage and in exchange, Alma Realty was permitted to: a) Manage multifamily buildings owned by St. Spyridon Church (see NY Post story: https://nypost.com/2013/06/02/holy-furor-as-greek-orthodox-pastors-hottie-goddaughter-gets-prominent-roles-at-church/) b) Manage the Wantagh property owned by St. Demetrios; c) Entities owned by principals of Alma Realty performed renovations for many Church owned properties managed by Alma Realty.
- Alma Realty received management fees to manage the Church owned buildings, they performed work using their own entities and gave mortgages to Church owned properties.
- Alma Realty installed its principal (Andriotis) and employees (Papamichael and others) to serve on parish council for years while Alma Realty engaged in self-dealing (banking, real estate management and renovations) with the Community.
Let us now see more specifically the abusive role of Nick Andriotis and his multiple violations of NY State law regarding “conflicts of interest” as well as GOA’s own regulations regarding conflict of interest:
- Arranged for Church bank accounts to be with Alma Bank and Atlantic Bank. Andriotis is a shareholder in Alma Bank and there are multiple employees of both banks that served in the past and present in the Parish Council.
- Pay to Play: Andriotis was the top financial contributor (“Grand Underwriter”) to the enthronement of the Archbishop. His contribution enabled him to install his minions to key positions: a) Koularmanis was appointed by the Archbishop as Director of Greek Education and they sought to control the Schools of (i) St. Demetrios in Astoria, (ii) Transfiguration in Corona, (iii) Holy Cross in Whitestone; and (iv) the Cathedral. b) Costas Eliades was appointed School Board Chairman at the Cathedral and under his leadership this past year, his ineptitude led the School to abandon its Middle School and hundreds of families have to find new schools for their children. c) Bishop of Medeias Apostolos, a key member of the Andriotis “gang”, is now second in rank below AB Elpidophoros and is in charge of most of Queens and all of Long Island, among the wealthiest communities in the country! Andriotis only cares to install people he can control, not people who have experience and abilities. His “Yes Men” are incompetent and ruin everything they touch. But the key is he maintains control like a true “godfather.”
- Andriotis has his hand-picked accountants (Psyllos and Psyllos) handle the accounting for the Church and School, and he arranged to have the spouse and her father of the accountant firm serve on the Parish Council. Most insulting is that Andriotis and Fr. Nektarios had the spouse appointed (not elected) on the Parish Council in January 2020, even though the election included 7 candidates for 10 seats. By selecting accountants related to Parish Council members, he ensures that the CPAs cooperate and look the other way when confronted with irregularities, such as not issuing 1099’s for certain people receiving compensation from the Church.
- Andriotis had Gary Sideris become president of the Parish Council and insisted that Sideris’s “koumbaro” (George Christedes) serve as Secretary of the Parish Council. Christedes is always under pressure by Andriotis to alter the Parish Council minutes to serve Andriotis’s revisionist agenda. Christedes is forced to “play ball” because his wife is a teacher working under Gary Sideris’s wife’s supervision.
- To ensure his all-encompassing control over the School, Andriotis had the wife of an employee of Valiotis serve as PTA President. When she was confronted with parents’ complaints, the PTA President was submissive to Andriotis and Koularmanis.
In our next report (to be published soon) we will describe the role of Koularmanis and Papamichael in this scheme of abuse of the parish and GOA. But I will close this piece with an episode that happened many years ago (in the 1980s) and has been repeating ever since. Andriotis was slapped in the face during a School Board meeting by George Myroulis, who could not take his antics anymore, like so many others! In retaliation, the “mafioso” Andriotis fired the wife of Myroulis’ brother, who used to be an excellent English and French teacher in the School! Should I remind everyone that last year he expelled the children of a parish council member who opposed him – both of them top students with grades in the high 90s?
Does anybody doubt that he deserves the title of “Godfather”?