DETROIT (WXYZ) - The Action News Investigators were the first to tell you how Detroit Public Schools bought a $40,000 SUV to chauffeur around Emergency Manager Roy Roberts. Now, Roberts is defending the costly ride which he says he approved.
On the heels of a 10% pay cut for all DPS staff the new Chevy Tahoe has caused some controversy. But when he was questioned by reporters, Roberts was unapologetic – and said he's the one who approved buying the new SUV. District officials originally told Action News that DPS Police decided to purchase the new SUV for “security reasons.”
Roberts' job is to get the financially-strapped Detroit Public Schools in shape. But now he’s facing questions about how a district with a $327 Million dollar deficit can justify using taxpayer money for a new $40,000 Chevy Tahoe.
Roberts reportedly said that the first SUV he was given had too many miles on it, that it broke down and it cost $1,000 to repair.
Historically, the head of the Detroit School District has been driven around in a DPS vehicle. But the Action News Investigators learned that many district leaders around the country use their own cars or get a stipend for driving their personal vehicles.
When Roberts was asked why he didn't use his own car -- the retired General Motors Vice President told The Detroit Free Press, "I would if they paid me like they pay other superintendants." As Emergency Manager, Mr. Roberts is making $250,000 a year, although he says he will be participating in the 10% pay cuts. He also has three vehicles registered in his name-- a Cadillac, a Buick and a vintage Chevy. Roberts declined to speak to Action News on camera for our original investigation.
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