- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 11, 2017

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) - A Hattiesburg pastor has appealed his conviction for stealing $60,000 in federal housing grants.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has not yet scheduled a hearing for 62-year-old Kenneth Fairley, or set deadlines for attorneys to file their briefs. A court paper filed Monday directs him to order and pay for a trial transcript.

Fairley was convicted in September of two counts of theft of government funds and one of fraud conspiracy. U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett sentenced him Dec. 19 to three concurrent three-year prison terms followed by three years of supervised release. He also ordered Fairley to pay $60,200 in restitution and a $30,000 fine.

Fairley, pastor of Mount Carmel Baptist Church, also runs Pine Belt Community Services. The nonprofit group received about $98,000 in U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grants to rehabilitate two houses but turned in only about $38,000 in receipts. The grants were administered by the city of Hattiesburg.

Fairley is free on $25,000 bond.

The Hattiesburg American (https://hatne.ws/2j8ecbR ) first reported that the case is at the 5th Circuit. It also reported that Fairley said at his sentencing that the jury “got it wrong.”

Artie Fletcher, 55, of Picayune, was indicted with Fairley but pleaded guilty to a separate charge of misprision of a felony - knowing about a felony without reporting it to authorities. He was given three years of probation and ordered to pay $60,223.95 in restitution. Prosecutors dropped other charges against him.

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Appeals court case No. 17-60001


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