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Detroit Principals' Bribery Con Cost Schools $2.7M, Say Feds

Detroit Principals' Bribery Con Cost Schools $2.7M, Say Feds

U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

By    |   Wednesday, 30 March 2016 07:40 AM

A dozen current and former Detroit schools principals have been charged in a $2.7 million bribery scheme involving kickbacks for fraudulent invoices, federal prosecutors revealed.

The prosecutors accused Norman Shy, 74, owner of Allstate Sales, with submitting false invoices to Detroit Public Schools and then using part of the payments from the school district as kickbacks to school principals with whom he allegedly conspired, according to a U.S. Attorney's Office statement.

Prosecutors accused 13 school officials – 12 current or former Detroit school principals and an assistant superintendent – in the scheme in which Shy received $2.7 million from Detroit Public Schools and the school administrators received $908,518 in kickbacks.

"It is a heavy blow to public confidence when so many school principals are charged with bribery," said U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade. "Public officials should take note that while it may seem easy to take bribes when they are offered, officials who betray their public trust will eventually get caught and will face the consequences."

MLive.com reported that just last month, one of the accused principals, Ronald Alexander, 60, appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres talk show after the celebrity raised $500,000 from Lowe's for his dilapidated school, Spring Elementary-Middle School.


The alleged scheme was the latest black eye for Michigan's largest school district, which has been under the control of a state-appointed emergency manager since 2009, noted the Detroit Free Press. The school district has built an operating deficit of at least $515 million and this month the state legislature agreed to provide $48.7 million in emergency funding to make sure it did not run out of money next month.

Doraid Elder, an attorney representing one of the principals, Stanley Johnson, 62, of Hutchinson Elementary Middle School, cautioned against a rush to judgment.

"These are merely allegations," Elder told the Free Press. "I don't want people to forget that he's put over two decades of his heart and soul into giving kids the best education possible."

Shy and the 13 administrators were charged with one count of conspiracy to commit federal program bribery, said prosecutors. Shy and Clara Flowers, 61, an assistant superintendent, were also charged with one count of tax evasion for failing to report income.

The others charged were Beverly Campbell, 66; Clara Smith, 67; Germla Johnson, 56; James Hearn, 50; Josette Buendia, 50; Nina Graves-Hicks, 52; Ronnie Sims, 55; Tanya Bowman, 48; Tia'von Moore-Patton, 46; and Willye Pearsall, 65.

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A dozen current and former Detroit schools principals have been charged in a $2.7 million bribery scheme involving kickbacks for fraudulent invoices, federal prosecutors revealed.
detroit, school, principals, bribery
423
2016-40-30
Wednesday, 30 March 2016 07:40 AM
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