A federal investigation of spending at Community Action of Minneapolis has produced a two-year prison sentence for Jordan Davis, a former Minneapolis police officer and son of Bill Davis, the nonprofit’s CEO.
Jordan Davis, 36, was convicted by a jury last summer for plotting with his father to be paid more than $140,000 for a no-show job at an ice cream shop.
The sentence handed down by Judge Patrick Schiltz includes two years of supervised release upon completion of his prison term and restitution.
Bill Davis, who was also convicted in the scheme, used CAM funds to pay his son for a job at a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream shop operated by CAM near the University of Minnesota. Ben & Jerry’s waived its standard franchise fees so CAM could operate the store to provide job and entrepreneurial training to underprivileged youth.
Between 2002 and October 2006, Jordan Davis was manager of the Ben & Jerry’s. In October 2006, he became a full-time Minneapolis police officer and left his post with Ben & Jerry’s, but the elder Davis directed CAM’s staff to continue issuing his son a full paycheck. From November 2006 until January 2011, Jordan Davis continued being paid $1,320 biweekly from the job he left.
Jordan Davis left the Minneapolis force last July.
In addition to receiving paychecks for the no-show job, Jordan Davis also used a CAM-owned vehicle, made personal purchases using a Ben & Jerry’s debit card and received a $6,000 “bonus” check.
During this same period, the Ben & Jerry’s store was consistently losing money, forcing CAM to transfer roughly $100,000 in federal grant funding each year to keep the doors open. In April 2011, CAM closed the Ben & Jerry’s PartnerShop because it could no longer afford rent for the store, and CAM terminated its youth job skills training program.
In arguing for a sentence of probation, defense attorney Fred Bruno wrote that his client, a husband and father of two children, made an “unfortunate decision to trust and aid his own father.” His client “believed … he was providing valuable services” to the ice cream shop during the time in question, the attorney continued.
The prosecution had asked for nearly four years in prison, noting that for four years he was “choosing to prioritize lining his own pockets over the best interests of the most vulnerable community members that he was sworn to serve.” Prosecutors also wrote that Jordan Davis used the nonprofit’s debit card after leaving “Scoop U” to buy gasoline, pay for auto repairs and his cellphone bill, and purchases at Target and Wal-Mart
Bill Davis pleaded guilty in June to 16 counts of theft and fraud for misspending at least $800,000 in public funds while running Community Action. He has yet to be sentenced.