An 11th Detroit school principal has agreed to plead guilty to taking part in a kickback scheme involving a vendor who stole $2.7 million from the school district.
The Detroit Free Press reports that Willye Pearsall, a former principal at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School, has a plea hearing scheduled for June 15.
She will join 10 principals, an assistant superintendent, and the vendor in pleading guilty to charges arising from the scheme. Pearsall, 65, is charged with accepting $50,000 in kickbacks from school supply vendor Norman Shy in return for approving Shy's fraudulent invoices.
Prosecutors say that to disguise the kickbacks, Shy funneled money to Pearsall by writing checks to one of her businesses, known as Safety Net Enterprises. Shy also wrote checks to J & J Youth Services that were really kickbacks to Pearsall, prosecutors contend.
Pearsall is charged with conspiracy to commit federal program bribery. She is among 14 individuals who were charged in March with helping run the kickback schemes.
Shy has pleaded guilty to bribery and tax evasion and is awaiting sentencing. His plea agreement calls for him to pay $2.7 million in restitution to the school district and $51,667 in back taxes to the IRS.
The only defendant who has not cut a deal in the kickback scheme is Josette Buendia, who was principal at Bennett Elementary School. She is charged with accepting $45,775 in kickbacks from Shy.