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Robert Davis Facing Federal Grand Jury Indictment

DETROIT (WWJ) - He made headlines in recent months fighting to keep State Review Board meetings open to the public.

But on Thursday, Highland Park School Board member Robert Davis was indicted by a federal grand jury in Detroit on charges of federal program theft, United States Attorney Barbara McQuade announced.

The indictment charges that between 2004 and 2010, Davis obtained more than $125,000 from the Highland Park School District through two schemes in which he used so-called "cover companies" and false invoices to the district for payment.

McQuade said one scheme involved the submission of false invoices for purchases in excess of $380,000 for advertising on behalf of the school district. She said the other involved the submission of false invoices in excess of $49,000 for services and expenditures relating to a Saturday educational program for district students.

Davis allegedly concealed his involvement with the companies, whose names appeared on the invoices, and concealed the fact that he took a substantial portion of the payments for his own use.

Davis has said he is "not guilty of the charges" and called the case politically motivated.

If found guilty of all counts, Davis  faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

The case was investigated by the FBI led Public Corruption Task Force and the IRS.

Highland Park schools currently face an $11.3 budget deficit while student enrollment continues to plummet, down 58 percent over the past five years.

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