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Forfeit Your Pension: State Goes After School Leaders Caught In Bribery Scandal

Guity Plea or Conviction Allows State To Take Action

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The Michigan Attorney General is going after the former Detroit Public School principals and superintendent caught up in a bribery scandal.

Attorney General Bill Schuette announced Friday he has initiated civil forfeiture actions to confiscate the pensions of the12 ex-DPS officials convicted of accepting bribes as part of a $2.7 million kickback scheme lead by former DPS vendor Norman Shy.

Most of the defendants are members or retirees of the Michigan Public Schools Empoyee Retirement System, whose pensions have received contributions from the State of Michigan or Detroit Public Schools.

According to Schuette, Michigan law provides for the forfeiture of public employee retirement benefits paid by the State into the retirement fund if a member or retiree is convicted of or enters a guilty plea to a felony that is related to their service as a public employee. The forfeiture would date back to the time the bribery scheme began until those involved were either fired or retired. However, the confiscated money cannot be used to pay restitution.

"An educator's first responsibility is to the children of the school, and the individuals that accepted bribes violated that trust and responsibility," Schuette said.