- Associated Press - Thursday, July 9, 2015

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - A former senior official with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has appealed his conviction by a Montana jury that found him guilty of covering up for a subordinate who kept drawing government pay after abandoning his post.

An attorney for John Grimson Lyon of Clifton, Virginia filed the appeal Wednesday with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The move came a day after the 61-year-old former director for the BLM’s 31-state Eastern States Region was sentenced to six months in prison by U.S. District Judge Brian Morris.

Lyon was found guilty in March of wire fraud, false claims and theft of government property. He has maintained his innocence.

His deputy at the BLM, Larry Denny, pleaded guilty to criminal charges and is awaiting sentencing.

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