DPS vendor Norman Shy sentenced to 5 years in federal prison; Flowers gets 3 years

DETROIT – A corrupt businessman who sold supplies to the Detroit school district returned to court for his sentence in a case that has snagged a dozen principals.

Norman Shy and former administrator Clara Flowers were scheduled to appear Tuesday in federal court in Detroit. Shy was sentenced to five years in a federal prison. Flowers was sentenced to three years. 

U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts said Tuesday that Shy's sentence should stand as a deterrent for others tempted to steal from the district.

Investigators say the district was cheated out of $2.7 million. Bogus invoices were submitted for chairs, paper and other supplies, some of which were never delivered. In return, gift cards, cash and checks were given to school employees. The government says Shy paid about $900,000 in kickbacks.

Shy told Roberts that he made "a horrible mistake."

All but one of the principals has pleaded guilty. Flowers pleaded guilty to accepting $325,000 in cash, gift cards and other favors.

Principals in Detroit were responsible for ordering supplies and selecting vendors.

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