More Than One Name

News and Tribune
October 13, 1968

Los Angeles (AP) - a Roman Catholic priest who runs an orphanage in the desert says he used more than one name and lives in an expensive house in the nearby resort of Palm Springs. But he denies any impropriety in this and denies government assertions that he led a second life and failed to file income tax returns on nearly $120,000.

The U.S. attorney's office says the Rev. Robert Nikliborc, 37, maintained a $75,000 home under the name of Robert Drew Rand. Neighbors said they knew the owner of the house as Bob Rand, a wealthy, married semi-retired electronics executive.

Father Nikliborc, 37, is charged with willingly failing to file income tax returns for 1963-65, a misdemeanor.

"Any statement that my gross earnings were $119,960.44 is without foundation," the priest replied Friday through his lawyer. "I am informed and believe I was not required to file a return in those years."

The lawyer who issued the statement, Thomas Baird, wouldn't say where the priest was.

Meanwhile, the state attorney general's office said it is reopening a years-old investigation of fund-raising on behalf of Boys Town of the Desert at Banning, about 70 miles east of Los Angeles. Father Nikliborc is president and financial director of the orphanage.

Father Nikliborc said in his statement: "I am commonly known as Father Robert, Father Robert Rand or Father Robert Nikliborc, whichever people find easier to pronounce."

He said that he maintains his Palm Springs home with the consent of the San Diego diocese, that a statement on the house dted [sic] calling Robert Rand married is a misprint and that the woman the neighbors thought was his wife was a housekeeper. Other priests use a chapel at the house, he said.

The diocese and the orphanage had no comment.

"He's a fund raiser," said Baird. "He travels all over the United States. He is primarily responsible for putting the home on its feet.

The orphanage can care for 65 boys.

Father Nikliborc who grew up in Chicago, was graduated in 1951 from St. Mary's of the Lake Seminary, Mundelein, ILL.

Of six brothers and sisters, one is a nun and one is a priest.

Arraignment is scheduled for October 31.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.