DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – A Detroit pastor who doubled as a city building official has been sentenced to two years of probation in a scheme to have taxpayers pay for kitchen equipment at his church.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds on Monday spared 60-year-old Charlie Golden from prison, citing in part his “exemplary” record. He could have faced 10 to 16 months in prison after pleading guilty to a 10-year felony in December.

Golden must pay a $3,000 fine and perform community service. He apologized in court.

“It was a deviation from what I believe and what I have been doing for the last 30 to 40 years. I ask my family and God for forgiveness for letting down the city and all of those that put trust in me,” he said.

According to the FBI, Golden told a city contractor to get someone to install an expensive exhaust and hood over a deep fryer at Perfecting Freedom Church. Authorities say Golden signed phony city invoices to ensure that the contractor would be paid by Detroit taxpayers. Golden was the city’s assistant buildings superintendent at the time.

TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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