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Tag: Detroit Public Schools

School Administrator Who Defrauded Chicago Public Schools Accused of Similar Crimes in Detroit

Detroit-Public-Schools-DPS--jpgBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT –– A former Detroit Public Schools official who pleaded guilty last month to defrauding schools in Chicago is accused of illegally steering a $40 million book deal to DPS, according to court records obtained by the Detroit Free Press. 

The records show that Barbara Byrd-Bennett, who was the accountability officer for DPS from May 2009 to June 2011, had a conflict of interest and lied about her relationship with the book publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

While she worked later at Chicago Public Schools, Byrd-Bennett helped steer $23 million in no-bid contracts in return for $2.3 million in kickbacks and bribes.

She pleaded guilty last month in the Chicago Public Schools case.

A search warrant for her AOL account uncovered the new allegations.

The FBI believes there is “probable cause” that Byrd-Bennett committed theft, fraud and conspiracy while working for DPS.

DPS officials said they are cooperating.

“Detroit Public Schools takes seriously any allegations of misconduct against its employees and/or vendors,” DPS spokeswoman Michelle Zdrodowski wrote in an e-mail. “As with any matter where there are allegations of misconduct, DPS investigates internally and works cooperatively with the law enforcement agency handling such matters.

Another Former Detroit Public Official Is Accused of Stealing Millions from Taxpayers

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

In the latest raid against public corruption in Detroit, the FBI descended on the home and business of a former Detroit Public Schools official, WXYZ reports.

The FBI said Carolyn Darden was the district’s director of grants when she helped herself to millions of tax dollars.

A federal affidavit accuses her and her husband of mishandling $6 million in grant money from “No Child Left Behind.”

Charges have not yet been filed.

Stomach Turner: FBI Investigating Ex-Official of Impovervished Detroit School District For Allegedly Diverting $57 Million

Detroit_Public_Schools_Welcome_CenterBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In Detroit, where the unemployment is very very high, and the city suffers from serious deficits, comes the latest news about the ailing school district that is guaranteed to turn stomachs.

The Detroit Free Press reports that the FBI is looking into a former department chief at Detroit Public Schools and his assistant who allegedly “used secret offices and their own computer system to improperly divert more than $57 million in school funds to vendors who provided little, if anything, in return, according to sworn records reviewed by the Free Press.”

The documents are part of a Wayne County Circuit Court lawsuit filed by the school district against Stephen Hill of Detroit, who was director of the district’s risk management from 2001-05, the Free Press reported.

The suit alleges — Hill received luxury vehicles and other kickbacks. The paper reported that vendors who benefited from the corruption included friends, associates and relatives of Hill or his assistant Christina Polk-Osumah of Detroit, the paper reported.

The paper notes that the lawsuit alleges that when Hill left in 2005 the District threw him a $40,000 “champagne-and-tenderloin farewell bash.”

That’s the least the district could have done to honor him for his services.

To read full story click here.

OTHER WEEKEND STORIES

African-American Community Rallies and Asks for Answers in FBI Shooting of Detroit Imam (Detroit Free Press)