Plea deals reached for most charged in DPS corruption scandal
They are accused of robbing Detroit students of the supplies they need to learn.
Now almost all of the defendants in the Detroit Public Schools corruption scandal have reached plea deals with the feds.
It is the latest in a scandal that has rocked Detroit Public Schools as it fights for a comeback. On Monday the federal government said plea hearings have been scheduled with most of the 14 defendants involved in a bribery and kickback scheme involving principals, an assistant superintendent and a DPS vendor of school supplies named Norman Shy.
Federal investigators say Shy billed DPS for millions of dollars in school supplies - but did not deliver everything he billed for.
Angela Carter has three children who attend Greenfield Union where Beverly Campbell was the former principal and was charged in the scheme. She has a plea hearing scheduled for May 20.
"I didn't think something like that would go on in our school," Carter said. "They should actually have to pay for that. They shouldn't have to have a plea deal. They should be responsible for their actions."
The plea hearings are scheduled to start this Thursday starting with Clara Smith, the principal at Thirkell Elementary. In May plea hearings will take place for Clara Flowers, a former assistant superintendent and former and current principals including Stanley Johnson, James Hearn and Ronald Alexander - whose school received a $500,000 Lowe's donation from talk show host Ellen DeGeneres and vendor Norm Shy.
In a statement, DPS officials said: "Detroit Public Schools has and will continue to cooperate with the US Attorney's office, we cannot comment on any pending investigation."
Federal investigators say two defendants in the case, Tanya Bowman and Willye Pearsall, do not have plea hearings scheduled and a third defendant, Bennett Elementary principal Josette Buendia, has not been arraigned.
"When they took that, they should have thought about taking from kids to benefit themselves," Carter said. "That's reprehensible."