When Ted Haggard’s gay sex scandal became public in Nov. 2006, the Rev. Don Armstrong was still riding high.Read my stories on the plea bargain here and here
He was about a month away from being placed on leave by the Episcopal Church over what it viewed as evidence he may have stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars from his church, Grace and St. Stephen’s Episcopal in downtown Colorado Springs.
On Sept. 17, Armstrong pleaded “no contest” to a class 3 felony theft count, and accepted a misdemeanor theft charge being added on the charges involving his time at Grace Church from 1999 to 2006. Both are viewed in a legal sense as guilty pleas; in other words, his punishment will be determined as if he’d pleaded guilty to both counts.
In a Gazette article called “Confronting Scandal” that ran Nov. 4, 2006, a statement from Armstrong on Haggard’s fall is interesting in light of Armstrong’s plea bargain.
Here is what Armstrong said:
“I am praying hard for Ted. Somebody like Ted, who’s so prominent, is going to be under constant attack from evil and temptation. So it’s hard for any of us to understand the level of temptation or the level of attack he’s had to deal with, but if this is the case then he walked up to the edge and was victorious, and I think we ought to celebrate that.”