PHOTO: The parish council of 1982… Fotis Papamichael sits next to the “Mafia Don” Nick Andriotis at the first parish council meeting that year (center – front row). Forty years later, Andriotis at age 82+ had to suffer severe illness to remove himself from the parish council, while Papamichael is still there at the same time as he is employed by ALMA Realty – while Alma Realty is doing business with the school and Alma Bank gives loans to the parish!! 

Two years ago, the then president of the parish council, Tassos Chrysanthopoulos, took away all responsibilities from the School Board Chairman, Fotis Papamichael,  and left him only the title – seeking to avoid internal friction, more than he was already faced with. He should have been fired long ago!! He needs to resign after he pays for the damages his decisions caused!! 

By Nick Stamatakis

How much math do you need to realize that (for a non-profit) you cannot start a multi-million dollar building without having secured substantial donations, a certain level of financing, and above all, a solid viability plan?  If you run a school and your enrollment suddenly drops by 20% year-to-year, what does it take for you to ring the alarm bell of the upcoming financial disaster and start cost-cutting? How many times is enough to re-hire a failed employee who was already dismissed or pushed out at least three times?  In St.Demetrios of Astoria, it seems that all these common-sense questions were left open until one disaster followed the next and, suddenly, within the last 12-18 months, the historic parish slid on the brink of a catastrophe.

First, the new building across the Church on 31st Street, whose budget 18 months ago stood at over $7 million, is still unfinished (no elevators, no certificate of occupancy, etc…) with a final budget likely higher by $1-2 million and has loaded the parish with a $3 million loan… At a time when the disastrous 10-year “disservice” of the inept Fr. Nektarios (Papazafiropoulos) diminished the membership and slashed church attendance of the once vibrant Church. Not only has Fr. Nektarios’ faithless ministry deteriorated the Parish, but his insistence on “proving himself” by “finishing” the new building at the worst possible circumstances, has forced a parish with over $150 million property into debt. A minor example of Fr. Nektarios’ ineptitude: he was planning to raise over $2 million for the new building, but he raised only $100,000…  Then he abandoned the project only to “buy” his Chancellor position at the Archdiocese and look after his self-interest...

Second, last September, it became clear the enrollment at the school, after 20 years of deterioration under the (lack of) “leadership” by A.Koularmanis, suffered a severe blow from 600 to 480, a whopping 20%!  What did the chairman of the School Board, Mr.Fotis Papamichael, do to avoid the looming catastrophe? Not much we have learned… If this was anyone’s business and faced with a 20% loss of market/revenue, don’t you think they would immediately take cost-cutting measures? For example, they would fire part-timers, they would consolidate classes where possible, they would cut salaries of the “permanent” unqualified staff they are known to have hired, etc, etc.  They should even go to the Archdiocese and explain their dire situation and ask Fr. Nektarios, who is now the chancellor, to cut in half their parish’s annual contribution (standing now at over $150.000).  Did Mr.Papamichael do any of this? No, sir… He stood there with his pretentious appearance and DID NOTHING AT ALL…  The same arrogant attitude, the same lacking performance – nothing changed… (We cannot truly say he did nothing.  He used PPP loans to dole out raises during the Pandemic!!  Too bad he did not realize that the monies the SBA gifted the School are not an annuity, and Papamichael would need to budget for the bloated salaries he doled out).

Then this past Christmas, a few days ago, all hell broke loose.  As we all remember, the day before Christmas Eve, we had extreme weather phenomena – but well predicted by weather reports days in advance.  We experienced a rarely-seen temperature drop of at least 40 degrees within one hour!!  I remember exiting my office and trying to open my car door: it was frozen and took a long time to open… In Saint Demetrios, as we all do in our homes, they were supposed to keep the building temperatures at 65-70 degrees as they were closing for the holidays.  And our sources tell us they did.

But at some moment before Christmas, likely on that fateful Friday before Christmas Eve, someone turned the thermostat down “to save money”… And the disaster happened.  “A water leak that was the result of a broken faucet pipe in the ladies’ room outside the Patrides Center”, says the principal Mr. Alfieri in a letter to the parents.  “The leak caused damage in several classrooms in the middle school, the nurse’s office, the Assitant Principal’s office, the VIP room outside the auditorium, the Patrides center floor, the UPK wing, and several storage closet areas,” goes on Mr. Alfieri.  And explains that the school had to hire plumbers and even a “restoration” company… When you hear the word “restoration company” anywhere, you must assume the damage was hefty – in our case, it must be measured not in tens of thousands but in hundreds of thousands of $$.

But later, Mr.Alfieri’s letter becomes interestingly curious: “All of the aforementioned (he means: repairs) took place under the direct supervision of Mr.Tiliakos, our director of Operations “… Why mention Mr.Tiliakos’ name? Also, why Mr.Alfieri avoided ANY reference to the cause of the leak – which all the people we spoke to agree was the freezing temperatures?  Water pipes do not leak out of the blue… (How can I be so confident? My dad was a plumber, and I have spent countless days of my youth helping him…) Any leak would usually start drop by drop, and then it gradually becomes serious.  For such colossal flooding to occur, the pipe must have burst… Freezing is the most likely cause when in the two days before Christmas, the temperatures dipped into the teens… (Below is a photo of Mr.Alfieri’s letter).


Who is responsible for keeping the temperatures at a certain level during the holidays?  Isn’t this person Mr.Tiliakos, the “Director of Operations”? If so, why did he fail his responsibility? And why such an apparent effort to cover his “behinds”? Other sources insisted that the school staff, aware of the coming freezing weather, had kept the thermostat high.  But someone, the last evening before the school holidays, turned down the thermostat… Who was that person?  This cannot be a secret: The school has installed cameras in certain areas – at least in the stairways and main hallways – for the safety of the students.  Could anyone tell us who were the last persons to leave the School building that fateful Friday?

But there is more about Mr. Tiliakos. He is known to have been pushed out or fired for incompetence or inappropriate behavior at least three times during the last ten years, but then he was rehired three times!! Who had re-hired him three times? You guessed it: The permanent fixture in ALMA Realty and St.Demetrios for the past 40 years, Fotis Papamichael, Nick Andriotis’ relative.  Tiliakos was Papamichael’s protege, a member of the “mafia-like” organization that has destroyed the historic parish and the Astoria community.  As happens in all “mafia-like” organizations, they take care of their members.  No matter what the issue, they are “protected”… And so they are protecting Mr.Tiliakos, no matter how incompetent he is…  It is characteristic that, at some point, he found employment at another Greek School in Brooklyn – but he was kicked out of there also!!  Then he was hired back (recycled) in St. Demetrios of Astoria!!…

Photo: Fotis Papamichael

The real culprit for this last (and many other) disasters is truly Fotis Papamichael.  Why does he re-hire Tiliakos again and again? And why does he insist on holding his position as Chairman of the School Board for so long? He is not an educator –  and he has nothing special to offer… Except for one thing: He is employed by ALMA Realty, and ALMA is doing business with the school.  ALMA Bank gives loans to the parish.  A few years ago, ALMA BANK had a manager sit at St.Demetrios’ P.C!!  When I started writing, they finally removed this person. Does the term “conflict of interest” mean anything to all those people?

Mr. Papamichael, isn’t forty years as a member of the parish council enough? You don’t even live in the community!.. Why do you think the community needs your “expertise”? It doesn’t!.. Does it cross your mind that, since you are the one who hired and re-hired Tiliakos, you may be the one who has to pay for the damages he has caused – if it is proven that he was the one responsible?  So far, we know that he had a general responsibility to ensure the building was “well maintained”. He failed this responsibility, and he needs to be fired once and for all.

Mr. Papamichael – year after year, your fellow Parish Council members complain about why you hold so many positions in the Community (Executive Vice President of the PC, School Board Chairman, Construction Manager of the building, and Andriotis’s alter-ego).  Yet these same spineless “flower pots”, who only care to be shown in photographs published by the failing National Herald, continue to allow you to abuse the Community.  Two years ago, the then president of the parish council, Tassos Chrysanthopoulos, took away from you all the responsibilities and left you only the title – looking to avoid more internal friction than necessary. You should have been fired long ago!!  If it were only the adults you abused, I would say they could fend for themselves.  But who among the “flower pots” in the Parish Council cares about the education and well-being of the children enrolled at the School?  You are all failures – some of whom are educated and hold degrees – shame on you!!  Don’t you care for your own children enrolled in the School? Don’t you want your own children to thrive?

And you, Mr.Papamichael, you need to quit – after you pay for the damages caused by people whose re-hiring is YOUR MISTAKE. If you don’t have the money, then your employer, ALMA Realty, who has been exploiting the school and the parish for decades, should foot the bill!! Enough is enough!!

January 5, 2023,

DISCLAIMER: The views and statements expressed in this article constitute constitutionally protected opinions of this author.




  1. Thank you for holding their feet to the fire. Once again, Helleniscope shines a light on corruption. How much longer can this nonsense go on?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here