Ferguson-Florissant schools superintendent faces fraud charges, is on leave | St. Louis Public Radio

Ferguson-Florissant schools superintendent faces fraud charges, is on leave

Aug 18, 2017

Updated 3:50 p.m. Friday with Davis released from county jail  — Ferguson-Florissant schools Superintendent Joseph Davis is charged with fraud for allegedly using a credit card from his previous North Carolina school district in January.

Davis has been with the St. Louis-area district since 2015.

Davis was arrested Wednesday by St. Louis County police based on a May indictment from a grand jury in Washington County, North Carolina. That document accuses Davis of using a Washington County Schools credit card to pay for a hotel room and rental car on Jan. 15.

Davis’ attorney, Paul D’Agrosa, didn’t immediately return multiple phone and email requests for comment. No phone number could be found for Davis. D’Agrosa told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Davis “emphatically denies” the charges and was “quite surprised by that accusation.”

Davis was released from St. Louis County jail on Friday afternoon. He'll travel to North Carolina to face the charges there.

Davis requested a leave of absence from the Ferguson-Florissant district on Thursday, which the school board granted, district spokesman Kevin Hampton said.

“Our hope is that Dr. Davis will return to lead the district,” school board president Rob Chabot said in a statement.

A January 2016 audit in North Carolina accused Davis of misspending more than $100,000 while he was superintendent of Washington County Schools. He did not face criminal charges, and the Ferguson-Florissant school board stood by Davis then.

Davis was named superintendent in February 2015 of the Ferguson-Florissant district, which serves more than 11,000 students across several north St. Louis County municipalities.

Ferguson-Florissant Deputy Superintendent Larry Larrew is the acting superintendent, Hampton said.

“The leadership team is doing business as usual,” he said. “And our business is educating kids.”

Camille Phillips contributed to this report.

Follow Ryan on Twitter: @rpatrickdelaney