(Part 2) Kenny Fairley, Johnny Dupree, and the path to indictments
Readers will need to start of with Part 1 here.
The mystery man in this whole thing is Artie Fletcher. Fletcher was indicted along with Fairley in an alleged HUD fraud scheme, involving a number of properties in Hattiesburg; one being the house located at 127 East 5th Street.
What blew the investigation wide open for HP investigators was the discovery of a lawsuit filed by Dr. Fletcher in Forrest County Circuit Court, all the way back on September 24th, 2013.
There are some fascinating aspects to this lawsuit.
Fletcher is acting as his own attorney for his INTER URBAN Corporation. Since he is not a licensed member of the bar in the state of Mississippi, it is not legal for him to represent an entity other than himself individually. Since his corporation is suing, he may not act as council in a lawsuit.
There is an old saying in the legal business, “He who represents himself has a fool for a client.” While Fletcher may have been the “seed money” man in this alleged fraud, as you read further, it will become questionable whether he has much sense.
The lawsuit in its entirety is a must read, and as it unfolds, it’s clear his complaint is exactly the break that a Federal investigator could use to build a criminal complaint against a number of people. Judging from the indictments of Fairley and Fletcher, that’s exactly what the feds and State Auditor, Stacey Pickering did. Because the US Attorney’s complaint almost mirrors Fletcher’s suit against Fairley. Fletcher appears to incriminate a number of individuals, including himself, with this incredible lawsuit.
The lawsuit asserts,
Pine Belt Community Services was awarded grant funding from the city of Hattiesburg, MS through one or more of the City Housing Grants Program(s)
Fairley approached INTERURBAN to use its name, money, resources, and expertise. Interurban agreed, provided that all seed money was returned and Fairley would be allowed to keep his equity portion of the job.”
The complaint goes on to allege that Fairley
with his inexperience caused delays and deficiencies which jeopardized the program and reinbursements.”
Fletcher took over the projects from Fairley in September 2012 in an attempt to stop the losses. Attempts at the time were unsuccessful. Fletcher alleged,
Notwithstanding those efforts, monies with the program were still frozen leaving INTERURBAN with a $160,000 exposure plus ancillary expenses to be determined. Despite amicable demand, they have refused efforts to remedy the problem”
Fairley took on this project with the objective to complete them at less than specification costs, allotting any remaining monies to be used for other projects and/or causes. One such cause was the subsidizing of the mortgage and operating expenses of Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist Church (MCMBC)”
In order to move jobs forward, obtain permits, and comply with program requirements, it is believed Fairley may have signed unauthorized documents with the city of Hattiesburg on behalf of INTERURBAN”
Fletcher then states that he is told by Fairley that the project was being audited and
Fairley requested that Dr. Fletcher provide receipts from other projects being undertaken by INTERRUBAN to enable Pinebelt to successfully complete the audit.”
Fletcher states that the Director of Federal Programs with the City, Mr. Tate, died and a Mr. Allard took over temporarily and found all sorts of problems with the project documentation. One such problem involved a Fairley worker.
Additional information has been uncovered that Anthony Harris also received monies and that Fairley co mingled this money in the interest of his Church, MBMBC, to avoid foreclosure.
Fletcher then drops the bombshell.
A meeting was attended by Johnny Dupree, mayor of Hattiesburg, Anthony Harris, Fairley, Mr. and Mrs Acey, to resolve the issues. During this meeting, Mayor Johnny Dupree suggested terms and conditions for the promissory note and was aware of the circumstances of this matterin cluding funding of the church (MCMBC). Anthony Harris also confirmed having received monies to replace his roof, Mr. Harris acknowledged and agreed that tis money should be repaid. “
So, in an attempt to get his money back from the hands of Fairley et al, Fletcher files what appears to be a highly incriminating lawsuit, implicating not only himself, but Fairley, Mayor Johnny Dupree and others. The entire complaint can be read below. Mayor Dupree will not comment to the Hattiesburg Patriot regarding these matters.
The lawsuit never went before Judge Helfrich for arguments. The process just stopped after the suit was filed. In reading the full complaint, it appears Fletcher will me a very good witness for the prosecution.