Community Action of Minneapolis CEO pleads guilty to fraud

- Former Community Action of Minneapolis CEO Bill Davis pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court to 16 counts of fraud and theft of public funds.

Davis, 65, admitted to using the nonprofit’s money to pay for personal expenses, including airline tickets, hotel stays, rental cars and a Caribbean cruise for friends and family. Davis also admitted to using the trade-in value of a Community Action-owned vehicle to purchase a Chrysler 300 for himself.

Scooping money from Ben and Jerry’s

Under the plea, Davis admitted to using the nonprofit’s money to pay his son, Minneapolis Police Officer Jordan Davis, for a "no-show" job at a Community Action-operated Ben and Jerry’s ice cream shop. Jordan Davis was employed as the manager of the Ben and Jerry’s shop from 2002 to 2006, but it was a job he never showed up for. During those 4 years, he allegedly received 105 paychecks totaling more than $140,000

Jordan Davis is scheduled to stand trial next week.

Slush fund

Davis developed a slush fund at Community Action using the savings from partnerships with Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy. Community Action had an agreement to provide energy conservation and weatherization services to qualifying homeowners. If the organization could provide those services for less money than Xcel or CenterPoint, the group could keep the difference for its own expenses. With this leftover money not subject to the same oversight as Community Action’s grant funds, Davis told his staff to charge his personal expenses to this slush fund.

“Improving people’s lives was the mission of Community Action of Minneapolis,” said U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger. “Instead, Bill Davis stole from those in need to line his own pockets. The evidence of fraud was overwhelming, and the defendant’s guilty plea to all of the charges against him is a just result.”

A sentencing date for Bill Davis has not been set.

Demand to divest donations

The Republican-leaning Minnesota Jobs Coalition is calling on Democratic candidates and the Minnesota DFL to return donations they received from Bill Davis.  The group published the following list of donations:

Minnesota DFL Party 2003 $500  
Minnesota DFL Party 2007 $1,000
Bobby Joe Champion 2008 $200
Jeffrey Hayden 2008 $250
3rd Congressional District DFL 2008 $150
Minnesota DFL Party 2008 $500
Mark Dayton 2009 $500
2nd Congressional District DFL 2009 $660
3rd Congressional District DFL 2009 $340
46th Senate District DFL 2009 $120
Jim Meffert 2009 $250
2nd Congressional District DFL 2010 $200
Jim Meffert 2010 $200
2nd Congressional District DFL 2011 $190
3rd Congressional District DFL 2011 $250
Minnesota DFL Party 2011 $1,000
Bobby Joe Champion 2012 $300
3rd Congressional District DFL 2013 $250
3rd Congressional District DFL 2014 $375
Minnesota DFL Party 2014 $750


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