The Rev. Samuel R. Ciccolini is now a retired priest in the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland.
The popular priest from Akron, known as “Father Sam,” requested retirement for health reasons in a letter dated May 10 to Bishop Richard G. Lennon. Lennon granted Ciccolini’s request on May 20, according to Robert Tayek, spokesman for the diocese.
Ciccolini, 70, was released from federal prison in April, after serving a six-month sentence for cheating on his taxes and committing bank fraud in 2003.
Ciccolini could not be reached for comment.
His official status is “senior priest retired,” Tayek said.
“As a priest, he is prohibited from public ministry and administering the sacraments, unless there is an imminent danger of death,” Tayek said. “He can say Mass privately [with no one present].”
Ciccolini founded Interval Brotherhood Home in 1970 in Coventry Township. He headed the residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility until retiring in December 2010 amid legal woes. He initially stepped away from his post as executive director in July 2010, but continued as a counselor until his retirement as executive director.
In his retirement as a priest, Ciccolini will continue to reside at Immaculate Conception in Akron, where he will pay room and board. He will receive health benefits and his pension from the diocese.