Highland Park’s former Emergency Financial Manager (2004 – 2009), Arthur Blackwell II, has entered a no contest plea in Wayne County Circuit Court against the charges that he mishandled $264,000 of that city’s money.
The charges stem from Blackwell’s original agreement with the Granholm administration to accept only one dollar per year for his services, but he subsequently billed Highland Park $11,000 a month without proper authority under the existing law PA-72 of 1990, the Emergency Financial Manager Law, predecessor to the recently repealed Emergency Manager Law, PA-4 of 2011 — a law so over-arching that a majority of Michigan voters agreed it had to go.
Within less than a month of its repeal by popular vote, the Snyder administration re-enacted the law with a few minor changes…plus an appropriation to render it referendum proof.
Blackwell’s crime is classified as a misdemeanor. Good thing he didn’t violate the proposed new Michigan bottle return law where 1,000 illegal returns ($10,000) would buy him five years in the big house.
Amy Kerr Hardin This article also appears in Voters Legislative Transparency Project