11 accused in DPS fraud case accept plea deals

Posted at 6:13 PM, Apr 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-25 18:13:01-04

Principals may have thought they got a deal when they allegedly accepted bribes and kick backs from a Detroit Public Schools Vendor. Now most know exactly what that deal was.

Most charged in the scheme have tentatively accepted a plea deal.

Federal investigators say Vendor Norman Shy charged Detroit Public Schools for about $5 million worth of supplies, then paid off 12 principals and an administrator to turn the other way as he delivered much less.

7 Action News tried to track him down for comment, but he could not be found. We learned he lived in a house with an approximate value of $2.7 million in Franklin.

It is ironic.  When principals and an administrator allegedly accepted $900,000 in bribes or kickbacks, investigators say it cost the district about $2.7 million.

Now justice is being handed out.

Eleven plea hearings are scheduled for this month and May. 

The two women accused of taking the most are up first. This Thursday, former Thirkell Elementary Middle School Principal Clara Smith will face her plea hearing. She's charged with accepting $194,000 in kickbacks

Then early next month Former Superintendent of Special Education Clara Flowers will face her hearing. She is accused of taking more than $324,000.

The principal who captured the hearts of many when he appeared on Ellen discussing the needs at Spain Elementary Middle school, Ronald Alexander, will face a hearing May 5th.

The man at the center of the probe, vendor Norman Shy, is scheduled to plead guilty on May 11.