HIGHLAND PARK (WWJ/AP) – The former emergency manager for Highland Park has avoided jail time but is ordered to pay $264,000 in restitution in connection with unauthorized payments he received from the fiscally troubled Detroit enclave.
Arthur Blackwell II was sentenced Wednesday in Wayne County Circuit Court to two years’ probation. He pleaded no contest last month to mishandling public money.
A no contest plea isn’t an admission of guilt but is treated as such for sentencing purposes.
Blackwell was appointed by then-Gov. Jennifer Granholm in 2005 to oversee Highland Park’s finances. He was dismissed in 2009.
The Wayne County prosecutor’s office said he wrote $264,000 in checks from city funding.
WWJ City Beat Reporter Vickie Thomas got reaction from former Highland Park Mayor Hubert Yopp.
“I was a part of City Council. We approved paying Blacklwell. We got together as a group and we voted and we approved paying Blackwell,” said Yopp. “I don’t understand a lot of the legal settings and what’s going on … but then I don’t have all the facts either.”
Blackwell has long insisted that most of the payments were proper.
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