DETROIT - Former Detroit Public Schools principal Ronald Alexander has gone from being celebrated on national television after receiving a $500,000 donation from the "Ellen DeGeneres Show" to facing time in prison for allegedly taking bribes from a district contractor.
Alexander was due in federal court Wednesday for a plea hearing, where he was expected to strike a deal with prosecutors, but he instead told the court he had fired his attorney. The hearing was rescheduled for a later date so he could figure out legal representation.
Just weeks later, he was indicted for allegedly getting $23,000 in kickbacks from May 2009 through June 2014 from Norman Shy, who owned Allstate Sales. The company was a district-approved supply vendor.
Alexander and 12 other principals are accused of scheming with Shy to have the district pay thousands of dollars for auditorium chairs, supplemental teaching material, raised line paper and other classroom supplies that either never arrived or came in smaller quantities than ordered. Several of the former principals have already taken plea deals.
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Alexander filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2011.
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