Rev. Fairley and government rests case, jury deliberations on Monday
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The government rested its case against Reverend Kenneth Fairley Friday morning. The defense team also rested its case Saturday after bringing in several witnesses to the stand.
On Friday the courtroom experienced a 45 minute break after Judge Keith Starrett deciphered if Fairley's defense team could bring in expert witnesses to take the stand Friday.
Judge Starrett cited federal court rules, and informed Fairley's attorneys the expert witnesses could only provide factual statements regarding the case.
The first witness to take the stand was Jonathon Brown, a Ft. Lauderdale city employee, who works with housing and urban development dollars (HUD).
Brown testified he spoke with Rev. Fairley and Artie Fletcher regarding HUD funds in the past.
The next two witnesses were initially retained as "expert witnesses", Brent McDaniel and Nick Autorina provided statements regarding the allocation and investigation of the HUD funds.
Brent McDaniel, a forensic accountant with Price Waterhouse Cooper, said that Pinebelt Community Services spent more than the organization started off.
Another fact witness, Nick Autorina, a private consultant and HUD program manager in Atlanta, Georgia said Pinebelt records did not seem unusual.
Autorina reviews HUD records for a living and said, "Whatever was provided to the city was acceptable to HUD."
Another witness, Gabriel Bobbett, the maintenance supervisor for the two HUD homes that were under rehabilitation testified too.
Bobbett said that Dave Ware, Hattiesburg Ward 4 Councilman at the time, stopped to inspect the homes.
"Dave Ware said he was satisfied with the work" said Bobbett.
Fairley's attorneys rested its case after bringing in 4 more witnesses before the jury could make its deliberations on Monday.
Bobbett testified a second time Saturday providing more information than his Friday testimony. Bobbett said he used a lot of his own tools and transportation when he supervised the two HUD homes.
Bobbett went into detail regarding what took place on the renovations of the homes.
During cross-examination the government indicated that Bobbett's wife used to live at 202 South Street before they were married.
Clarence Williams, Pinebelt Community Service Consultant also testified and said he advised PCS about certain projects.
Mayor Johnny DuPree also testified on Saturday and went in depth discussing his relationship with Reverend Kenneth Fairley.
"Reverent Kenneth Fairley and I knew each other since we were 7 years old" said Mayor DuPree.
He stated that Rev. Fairley and him made a commitment to better the living conditions in Hattiesburg.
The defense team also called Rina Anderson to the stand. Anderson is the current occupant of 202 South Street home.
Anderson told jurors on Saturday about her life experience and how she was excited to move in as a renter through Rev. Fairley's program.
The defense team rested its case after Anderson took the stand. The government called for a rebuttal witness, Donneta McAdoo, director of community planning for HUD.
McAdoo works at the Jackson office, she said she is responsible for HOME programs across the state, the two homes that were involved in this case were part of her work responsibilities.
McAdoo said her work responsibilities includes notifying the Office of Inspector General of any criminal activity, such as, misappropriation of money, money not spend correctly, or money not utilized properly.
She said she scheduled a meeting with Reverend Fairley and his organization to demand official receipts and documents.
"Reverend Fairley said he did not have any documents to provide" said McAdoo. McAdoo claims that the meeting she had was very "contentious."
When McAdoo was in Hattiesburg she said visited the two homes and was very displeased with the outcome.
"The house did not look it had $53,000 made in it" said McAdoo.
She added, "I was displeased and very angry about it."
The trial will continue on Monday with closing arguments and jury deliberations.