Falwell questioned about donation to Lynchburg mayor's church

Associated Press/May 20, 2005

Roanoke, Va. -- The Reverend Jerry Falwell says he appeared voluntarily before a federal grand jury investigating the mayor of Lynchburg, Virginia.

Falwell says he answered questions in February about 32-thousand-500 dollars that his ministry gave to the church where Mayor Carl Hutcherson is a minister.

Falwell said Hutcherson approached him last June and asked to borrow 85-thousand dollars, citing "serious personal financial problems." Falwell said his ministry does not give out loans but he agreed a few weeks later to give a gift to the mayor's church.

Falwell said he's been assured by federal prosecutors that neither he nor anyone in his organization is a target of the probe.

The News and Advance of Lynchburg has reported that Hutcherson owes about 20-thousand dollars in delinquent state taxes, and the Virginia Department of Taxation has filed several liens against his funeral home.

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