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Former Highland Park Emergency Manager pleads no contest

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A court gavel
A court gavel

DETROIT (WKZO) -- The former emergency financial manager of Highland Park has pleaded no contest in a case that began over three years ago.

Arthur Blackwell II was originally charged in 2009 with embezzlement after he was accused of improperly paying himself over 250-thousand dollars after agreeing to a salary of one-dollar-per-year as financial manager.  Blackwell said he agreed to the one-dollar salary for just the first year and that he and then Governor Granholm agreed he should be paid more

In January 2011, the case was thrown out by a Wayne County Circuit judge, but charges were reinstated by the Court of Appeals last year.  Blackwell pleaded no contest to one count of safe keeping of public money, a misdemeanor, and is scheduled to be sentenced April 16th.

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