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Former Michigan school board president sentenced for accepting bribes, tax evasion

CBS News Detroit Digital Brief for Nov. 9, 2023
CBS News Detroit Digital Brief for Nov. 9, 2023 02:59

(CBS DETROIT) - A former Madison District Public Schools board president is sentenced to 45 months in prison for accepting bribes from a local contractor.

Albert Morrison, 62, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit federal program bribery and tax evasion. He served as school board president from 2012 and 2018.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Morrison received about $561,000 to secure construction projects for John David, who was Morrison's longtime friend and the owner of a building maintenance and reconstruction company, Emergency Restoration.

The company was awarded more than $3.1 million for projects in the school district.

Officials say Morrison used the money for personal reasons, such as vacations to Florida and a boat slip.

He also denied having any financial ties to David or his company when confronted at a board meeting and failed to disclose the payments to the State of Michigan auditors.  He also did not file a federal income tax return from 2014 to 2018 and avoided paying $118,000.

"Today's sentence underscores our continued insistence that our trusted public officials hold themselves to the highest standards of integrity and honesty. It sends a clear message that when public officials break that trust, they will be held accountable," said U.S. Attorney Dawn N. Ison in a written statement. "This sentence ensures that school officials will put the interests of our children first and that those who accept bribes and evade paying taxes will answer for their crimes."  

In August, David was sentenced to 24 months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit federal program bribery and bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds.

David admitted to paying Morrison the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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