Madison Heights school official takes bribes from ‘longtime friend’ for $3.1M in contracts, feds say

Albert Morrison, John David charged in bribery scheme

Lockers in the hallway of a school. (WDIV)

MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. – A Madison Heights school official is accused of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of bribes from his “longtime friend,” a contractor, in exchange for awarding that man’s company $3.1 million worth of maintenance and construction projects within the district.

Officials said Albert Morrison, 60, and John David, 64, were involved in a bribery scheme while Morrison served as the elected president of the Madison District Public Schools Board of Education from 2012 through 2018.

During that time, David was an owner of Emergency Restoration, a building maintenance and reconstruction company, according to authorities.

Officials said David wrote checks from Emergency Restoration to Morrison’s solely owned company, Comfort Consulting, from 2014 through 2018.

Morrison would deposit the checks from David into his bank account, according to court records.

In exchange for those payments, Morrison would award David’s company with contracts for maintenance and construction projects at schools within the district, authorities said.

Morrison received at least $561,667 in payments from David, while David’s company received about $3,167,275 through contracts with Madison District Public Schools during the bribery scheme, according to officials.

Morrison is accused of spending the money from David on personal luxuries, such as vacations in Florida and a boat slip.

“Children and their parents deserve a school system free of corruption,” United States Attorney Dawn N. Ison said. “Today’s indictment demonstrates our commitment to ensure that our educational systems put the interests of our kids first.”

Morrison denied having financial ties to David when he was confronted publicly at a Madison District school board meeting, court records say.

Both men failed to disclose to Michigan auditors that Morrison and received payments from David, according to authorities.

Morrison didn’t declare the payments from David to Comfort Consulting as income during the tax years 2014-2018, officials said. He didn’t file federal income tax returns from 2015 through 2018, records show.

By failing to declare the payments from David as income to the IRS, Morrison avoided paying about $118,200 in taxes, federal officials said.

Morrison and David have both been charged in a superseding indictment with conspiracy to commit bribery. They’re separately charged with three counts each of bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds.

Morrison is also charged with tax evasion and failure to file tax returns.

About the Author:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.