Is Church Pastor's Promise Any Good?

CLEVELAND - A local church pastor may have promised to reimburse an amputee that she's accused of swindling, but is the minister's word any good?

Tom Meyer, The Investigator, had the story that you could have only seen on Action News.

Merita White is the church pastor who was indicted on charges that she swindled Mattie Cunningham, a woman who lost most of her arms and legs because of a doctor's mistake, out of nearly $200,000 -- money Cunningham won in a medical negligence claim.

As the criminal case against White continues, the pastor has ignored civil court actions taken nearly a year and a half ago. She was ordered to reimburse Cunningham $164,000. She hasn't. Then, she was ordered to pay her $200,000. She hasn't.

"She signed a judgment and she refuses to do the right thing," Cunningham's attorney, Martin Sandel, said.

Why is White still allowed to live in a house that she bought with Cunningham's money?

Cunningham's attorney obtained a foreclosure order last June, but the pastor's legal maneuvers have suspended the sale of the property.

Action News went to White's house and saw her Mercedes parked in the driveway. She drove toward her house in her Jeep, but drove away when she saw Action News videotaping her home. In prior attempts to talk with her, the pastor has declined comment.

Cunningham's attorney calls the pastor a wolf in sheep's clothing. He calls her disregard of court judgments one of the most despicable things a self-proclaimed minister could do.

"To deny an armless, legless woman the money that is her own money, I think is wrong," Sandel said. "I think it's vile."

White, convicted already of one felony, will apparently do her talking in court.

Cunningham also won a foreclosure action against Grace Apostolic Church, where White is pastor, but that too remains open and White is still in charge.