Ex-DPS principal featured on 'Ellen' fires attorney

A new twist in the Detroit Public Schools corruption saga - one of the defendants fired his attorney just before he was set to plead guilty.

Former principal at Spain Elementary in Detroit, Ron Alexander didn't have anything to say when walking out of federal court for what was supposed to have been his plea hearing for his alleged role in the DPS kickback scheme.

Investigators say Alexander took more than 20,000  in kickbacks from Norman Shy, the ring leader who pleaded guilty last week in federal court.

Instead of pleading guilty, Alexander requested to have a new lawyer, a request Judge Victoria Roberts granted.

You may remember Ron Alexander when he was on "Ellen" earlier this year to accept a $500,000 check from the talk show host to help his former school, a building that's crumbling.

He was all smiles back then. But walking out of court Wednesday when he said "No comment" to questions.

The reason why Alexander wanted to hire a new lawyer was not said in open court. He's scheduled for a status hearing on May 31.

Also today, a surprise court visit from Norman Shy. He didn't have any hearings scheduled but Shy and his lawyer spent a few hours at the court house on Wednesday. Before our cameras caught them walking out, they did a good job hiding from the media while inside.

Shy also had no comment last week when FOX 2 confronted him after he pleaded guilty to the charges in the kickback scheme.

Part of the plea deal includes paying the $2.7 million he stole from Detroit Public Schools in restitution and cooperating with investigators, it makes one wonder why the ring leader was at the courthouse when he wasn't scheduled to be.