Thirkell ElementaryMiddle School is one of campuses in Detroit where a former principal has been sentenced to prison for taking bribes Detroit Public Schools Community District

Thirkell Elementary-Middle School is one of campuses in Detroit where a former principal has been sentenced to prison for taking bribes.

Three former Detroit principals get prison terms for kickback scheme

Federal judge imposes sentences on administrators who took bribes for approving phony vendor invoices.

Three former principals in the Detroit school district have received prison terms for their roles in a kickback scheme.

The Detroit News reports that Clara Smith, former principal at Thirkell Elementary-Middle School, was sentenced to two years in prison for taking $194,000 in kickbacks from a vendor. Willye Pearsall, former Thurgood Marshall Elementary principal, received a 15-month sentence. James Hearn, the former principal at Marcus Garvey Academy, was sentenced to 10 months in prison.

The three were among 12 principals and an assistant superintendent in Detroit Public Schools who were charged earlier this year in federal court with accepting bribes from a vendor in exchange for approving phony invoices. The vendor, Norman Shy, was sentenced last week to five years in prison after admitting to cheating the district out of $2.7 million. 

Judge Victoria Roberts also ordered Smith to pay $194,000 in restitution. Pearsall was ordered to pay $50,000 in restitution and to undergo treatment for a gambling addiction. Hearn was ordered to pay $11,500 in restitution.

 

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