Administrators at Detroit school not certified

Posted at 6:19 PM, Apr 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-29 23:36:39-04

Top administrators running a Detroit charter school may be more familiar with a courtroom than a classroom.

Some administrators became famous because of close ties to former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, now serving 28 years in prison on a Federal corruption conviction.

The top administrator of the school is Sharon McPhail. She's been low key at the school for almost four years. She's been high profile in the past as one of the attorneys working for the former Mayor and she was elected to the Detroit City Council.

The Michigan Department of Education confirms to 7 Action News an investigation is underway to find out why McPhail and 3 other administrators are not state certified.

Her school administrators include:

Patricia Peoples, Kilpatrick's cousin who was in court eight years ago when she was accused to ignoring a subpoena for city records. She was a Deputy Human Resources Director in Detroit and is now the Human Resources Director and is in charge of Student Admissions at the charter school.

William Coleman, III was Detroit Public Schools CEO until he was fired and indicted in a Dallas school corruption case.  Coleman would plead guilty to a misdemeanor and testify against the others in Dallas. He is the charter school's CFO.

Sylvia James is a former District Judge in Inkster, ousted from the bench after a 7 Action News Investigation and a hearing found she had mishandled court funds. She is the Dean of the charter school.

The Bridge Magazine was the first to look into questions to try to get better state oversight and reforms:

McPhail tells 7 Investigator Jim Kiertzner that people make mistakes and that should not keep them from working. McPhail also says the state investigation. "will be dealt with."  McPhail's title on the school website changed from Superintendent to CAO after questions were raised.

According to McPhail the salaries are:
McPhail - $130,000
Coleman - $115,000
James - $75,000
Peoples - $73,500
Average teacher - $42,000