Local

Mississippi Rising Coalition ousts board member after learning of his felony background

Mississippi Rising Coalition President Lea Campbell, center, stands with the Rev. Cuttino Alexander, left, and TNathan Fairley, a board member of Mississippi Rising Coaltion, to address the media after she received an emailed video from the United Dixie White Knights.
Mississippi Rising Coalition President Lea Campbell, center, stands with the Rev. Cuttino Alexander, left, and TNathan Fairley, a board member of Mississippi Rising Coaltion, to address the media after she received an emailed video from the United Dixie White Knights. amccoy@sunherald.com

The Mississippi Rising Coalition has removed board member TNathan Fairley after learning of his felony background.

The equality and civil rights group, which supports removing the state flag and speaks out against the Ku Klux Klan, made the announcement on its Facebook page Thursday.

Fairley, whose given name is Troy Nathan Fairley, served 22 months of a three-year prison term in Florida on conviction of multiple forgery and related charges.

Fairley was sentenced June 6, 2014, and released from prison Aug. 3, 2016, with plans to live in Gulfport, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement website shows.

Fairley was convicted on 20 counts of forgery, two counts of unauthorized possession or use of a driver's license or ID, two counts of authorized use/possession of a driver's license or ID, and one count each of fraudulent use of a personal ID and uttering a forged instrument.

The 50-year-old Fairley has helped the group promote its goals of social progression through education and advocacy.

Fairley failed to disclose his criminal background to the organization, board member Cindy Eldridge said in a Facebook post Friday.

"That is a serious omission," Eldridge said.

A journalist discovered the convictions a few weeks ago, she said, and Fairley was questioned about it at a march in Ocean Springs on Tuesday.

Fairley failed to mention it to the MRC leader, and "that is inexcusable," Eldridge said.

It wasn't immediately clear if the MRC asks about felony backgrounds among its members or leaders.

The MRC has been vocal about racially charged flyers that appeared across Ocean Springs the night of April 12 and racially tinged Facebook posts and YouTube videos from the Klan. The MRC held a news conference at Ocean Springs City Hall on March 28 to denounce a hate-filled video emailed by a member of the United Dixie White Knights branch of the KKK.

The group has asked Ocean Springs, Harrison County and other government entities around the region to quit flying the state flag because of its Confederate emblem.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews
  Comments