Minneapolis police officer Jordan Davis pleaded not guilty Friday to federal charges of theft and fraud in a public corruption case tied to the nonprofit group run by his father, Bill Davis, to help low-income people.
Jordan Davis was conditionally released on $25,000 bond after his initial hearing in St. Paul federal court. He will be allowed to take a previously scheduled trip in three weeks to the Dominican Republic with his wife, but will have to surrender his passport after he returns Oct. 9. U.S. District Judge Tony Leung said that he was “not thrilled” about allowing Davis to go on the trip, but that he was confident Davis would return to court.
As part of his release, Davis is prohibited from carrying firearms.
His attorney, Fred Bruno, said that he anticipated the case going to trial since Jordan, as a police officer, risks being “put out of work” by a conviction.
Minneapolis police have placed Davis on paid home assignment, which means he has to be at home from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the workweek, department spokesman John Elder said.
Davis and his father were indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury, accused of misusing $250,000 in taxpayer money received by Community Action of Minneapolis, the nonprofit that Bill Davis took over in 1990 and turned around.
The organization provided heating and weatherization assistance to low-income city residents, along with career counseling and other services.
The indictment alleges that Bill Davis ordered that his son be paid more than $140,000 from a “slush fund” that should have gone toward heating and energy assistance.
Jordan Davis allegedly was paid as manager of an ice cream shop run by Community Action even after he quit the job and became a police officer in 2008.
Community Action’s issues came to light last year, after an audit by the Minnesota Department of Human Services found that it had misspent at least $800,000 between 2011 and 2013 on a car loan for Bill Davis, travel, golf and other unauthorized expenses.
After the audit was first reported by the Star Tribune, the state raided the organization’s offices, confiscated documents and shut it down. Bill Davis has said he would be vindicated in the end.
Jordan Davis reportedly had planned the trip to the Dominican Republic after he was shot last winter while investigating a home burglary in north Minneapolis. His indictment surprised police administrators, who said that they had not been notified about it.