OTTAWA, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois priest who spent time in prison for manufacturing and selling a date-rape drug has been removed from ministry again for getting involved in a criminal case without telling his superiors.
Peoria Diocese Bishop Daniel Jenky removed the Rev. Jeffrey Windy from his post serving three Ottawa parishes in March, The Chicago Tribune reported. Officials found that Windy had involved himself in a criminal case by visiting a crime victim with the defendant’s father, who is a parishioner and has been charged with attempted harassment of a witness.
LaSalle County State’s Attorney Karen Donnelly said “Windy has never been considered for possible arrest in regard to his interaction with the victim.” However, Jenky removed him from his post.
Jenky’s vicar general, Monsignor James Kruse, said Windy didn’t consult his superiors before getting involved in the case, which shows he hasn’t overcome “a pattern of imprudence” that he has exhibited over the years.
Windy was arrested in 2002 while at a different parish and served time in federal prison for manufacturing the date-rape drug gamma-hydroxybutyrate, also known as GHB. At the time, Windy said he was using it as a bodybuilding supplement, though experts say there’s little science behind such use.
“Is it legit? No,” said Mark Rasenick, a professor of physiology, biophysics and psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “It is the fabric of urban legend.”
Windy returned to parish work in 2013, first in Bloomington and then in Ottawa, after diocesan officials felt he had earned a second chance.
“There was a probationary period to see if he was in a position to reintegrate into ministry,” Kruse said.
Kruse said Jenky has filed a canon law case in Rome seeking further action on Windy’s status.
Windy’s attorney, Gary Peterlin, said the diocese is seeking to permanently remove Windy from the priesthood. Peterlin said Windy hasn’t done anything to justify removal.