Principal Suspended After Paying For Work Never Done

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A Detroit school principal has been suspended over allegations that she paid teachers for hundreds of hours of after-school tutoring that they never conducted.

Detroit Public Schools spokesman Steve Wasko says the move comes after an investigation by the district’s Office of Inspector General.

Cecelia Muhammad, a 25-year employee, faces an employment hearing, while 12 teachers and a support staff member face disciplinary hearings.

A statement from the district says the investigation, which followed an anonymous tip to Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb, found that teachers at Durfee K-8 routinely received three hours of pay per day while actually working only two hours for after-school tutoring at Durfee.

The Office of Inspector General determined that fourteen employees at Durfee were improperly overpaid a total of $14,062.90 for the Durfee After School Program from November 2009 through May 2010. Muhammad was an assistant principal at Durfee during this period.

“I’m outraged by the fact that a principal who is charged with educating and caring for our children might, in turn, steal from them by deliberately overpaying teachers for work they never conducted,” said Bobb.

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