DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Many Detroit school principals accused of taking kickbacks from a contractor have struck deals with the government and are scheduled to plead guilty.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office says 11 guilty pleas so far are scheduled in April and May, including deals with nine principals. The man at the center of the probe, vendor Norman Shy, is scheduled to plead guilty on May 11.
The principals are accused of taking kickbacks on inflated invoices for classroom supplies.
It’s another blow to the Detroit school system, which is struggling with perilous finances and an unflattering reputation.
According to court filings, 12 principals and an administrator others conspired with Shy, owner of Allstate Sales, in a scheme to submit invoices for supplies that were never delivered.
The total amount of bribes and kickbacks that Shy paid to the 13 school officials was approximately $908,518, according to McQuade. In exchange, Shy and his company allegedly received approximately $2.7 million over 13 years from the district.
One of the principals allegedly involved had previously made the news when he was seen on TV accepting $500,000 in donations from Ellen DeGeneres. U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said Ronald Alexander, principal of Charles L. Spain Elementary-Middle School, pocketed $23,000 in kickbacks from Shy.
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