Ex-Detroit Public Schools assistant superintendent pleads guilty in kickbacks case

Clara Flowers accused of taking money from district vendor

DETROIT – A former Detroit Public Schools  assistant superintendent accused of taking kickbacks from a contractor pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court.

Clara Flowers admitted she got kickbacks in the form of gift cards and checks from 2009 to 2015 from district vendor Norman Shy.

She is among 12 principals, one administrator and Shy who were charged in March.

Flowers was the assistant superintendent of DPS's Office of Specialized Student Services.

Flowers pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit bribery and federal tax evasion, and she is scheduled to be sentenced in September.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says the DPS employees took the kickbacks from inflated invoices for classroom supplies through Shy’s company. Shy's company received about $2.7 million over 13 years from the district.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says more guilty pleas so far are scheduled in April and May, including deals with nine principals.

Shy is scheduled to plead guilty on May 11.

Tanya Bowman also pleaded guilty Tuesday, and is also scheduled to be sentenced in September.

View all of the federal complaints here: