DETROIT – A Detroit school whose principal is accused of stealing district money as part of a bribery scheme will still receive a $500,000 donation awarded on the Ellen Show.
Spain Elementary-Middle School principal Ronald Alexander's school was showcased on The Ellen Show earlier this year when Ellen surprised him with a $500,000 donation from Lowe's.
According to federal complaints revealed earlier this week, Alexander and a dozen other Detroit principals submitted fraudulent invoices to the Detroit Public Schools district for payment to a school supplies vendor. The school supplies never were delivered, and the principals instead received kickback payments, according to federal investigators.
Lowe's announced Thursday that despite the alleged corruption, Spain Elementary-Middle School will receive the donation.
"Like others in the Detroit community, we are disappointed and concerned by reports that some school officials may have misused funds. There continues to be great need at Spain Elementary School, and it has always been our intention to help improve the learning environment for these students. We are committed to completing the renovation project and technology upgrades and are making sure the proper safeguards are in place to ensure funds provided by Lowe’s directly benefit the students and community," said Lowe's spokeswoman Jenny Popis in a written statement.
"The Ellen DeGeneres Show" released the following statement:
"'The Ellen DeGeneres Show' has always sought out and supported worthy causes, particularly those involving schools and children. The students at Spain Elementary-Middle School deserve a better learning environment, and along with our partners, we intend to follow through on our commitment to them."