Former Spain Elementary School principal pleads guilty in bribery scheme

Posted at 11:07 AM, Jun 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-21 12:43:43-04

A former principal at the center of a Detroit Public Schools bribery scheme appeared in court today. 

Spain Elementary School principal Ronald Alexander went before a federal judge to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit federal program bribery.

Alexander admitted to accepting $23,000 from May 2009 to May 2014 in kick-backs from a vendor who over-billed for supplies the school never received.

Alexander served as principal at Spain for 20 years.

It's the school where 7 Action News exposed terrible conditions including mold growing in the gym.

As a result of our coverage, Ellen DeGenres championed the school which received $500,000 in donations. 

Now, Alexander faces 24 to 30 months in prison.

His attorney painted a different picture of his client outside the federal court.

 "He's destroyed by this. You got to understand this man is the pastor of a church, he doesn't take a salary. He lived modestly and what he did was, it was a some sort of encumbering plan that they used at the school that the funds were either use them or lose them," said Alexander's attorney William Ford. 

Sentencing for Alexander is set for September.