Fraud trial for pastor, co-defendant postponed

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) – A fraud trial scheduled for a pastor and his co-defendant in Hattiesburg has been postponed.

The Hattiesburg American reports that court officials announced Monday that the federal trial scheduled for June 13 for the Rev. Kenneth Fairley and Artie Fletcher has been reset. A new trial date is expected to be set Tuesday.

Fletcher’s motion to continue the trial was granted after a witness to his defense suffered a stroke.

Fairley and Fletcher are accused of conspiring to defraud the U.S. government.

The charges stem from federal funds issued to Hattiesburg to rehabilitate properties in the city. The two are accused of entering into an agreement in which Fletcher’s New Orleans-based development organization was contracted to conduct the rehabilitation work, but the work was subcontracted to companies that attempted to perform the work for a lesser amount.