Highland Park EFM Convicted Of Fraudulent Conversion & Breach Of Fiduciary Duty
DETROIT (WWJ) – A Wayne County jury convicted former Highland Park Emergency Financial Manager Arthur Blackwell II of one count of Fraudulent Conversion and one count of Breach of Fiduciary Duty in response to his decision to pay himself $308,000 in salary from the beleaguered city’s funds.
The Detroit News reports that criminal embezzlement and misconduct charges against Blackwell were dismissed in January by a judge who ruled he had authority to pay himself, a six-member jury in a different judge’s courtroom came to the opposite conclusion at the end of Tuesday’s trial in a civil lawsuit on nearly identical allegations filed by Michigan’s Attorney General.
The jury determined that Blackwell’s contract as emergency financial manager did not allow him to tap city funds to pay himself back wages states The Detroit News.
Blackwell has since repaid $44,000, but was found liable for the remaining $264,000, which must be repaid to the taxpayers of the State of Michigan.