Detroit Public Schools: Broke and Corrupt

Monday, April 18, 2016
Posted in category Public Uneducation

As the Detroit Public Schools (DPS) scandal unfolds, the truth about Norman Shy continues to be revealed. Shy became immensely wealthy, and at least one way he did so was to become an “approved vendor” for DPS, allowing him to run a kickback scheme with the help of at least a dozen school principals.

Here, in this 11,000-square-foot estate, public records show, is where the central figure in a Detroit school corruption case lived for years  while allegedly cheating the Detroit Public Schools out of millions of dollars with the help of 12 principals and one administrator. Shy’s home was featured in a Michigan House Envy article in the Detroit Free Press in 2013.  He sold the home in November 2014.

According to court documents, principals used Shy as their school supply vendor for items such as chairs, workbooks and paper, but the supplies rarely made it to the classrooms.  In return for their help, the principals allegedly received $1 million in kickbacks that came in all forms: payments made to sham companies that the principals had created, cash, gift cards and house repairs, including a new roof and gutter work for one administrator.

DPS unknowingly paid for it all, prosecutors allege, claiming Shy was the biggest benefactor of all. Over 13 years, he billed DPS $5 million, of which $2.7 million was ill-gotten, they say.

After Detroit ran its own schools into the ground, for decades, the state of Michigan took over and further destroyed and corrupted an already broken system. One can wonder how many people lined their pockets over the years with the tax dollars sucked up by DPS.

This weekend’s Detroit Free Press reveals how lavishly Norman Shy lived in a palatial estate of 11,000 square feet in Oakland County. Additionally, he was known for consistently suing small guys, including the contractors building his estate. Mr. Shy sells himself as an expert in communications but you’ll find a whole lot of grammar indiscretions all over his “The Art of Communication” website. It’s actually pretty funny.

One of the principals who was on the take in Shy’s scheme had been on the Ellen Degeneres Show as a recipient of a $500k feel-good award, giving the audience the usual sob story about Detroit Public Schools having dilapidated infrastructures; computers that don’t work; leaking roofs; mold issues; an infestation of insects and rodents; and no books, paper, or pens for the kids. Hence, Hollywood to the rescue. Following the Ellen event, GoFundMe pages appeared all over the place, trying to raise private money to feed into this corrupt rathole.

This video of the Ellen gifting event is about as embarrassing as it gets.

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