Schuette Initiates Pension Forfeiture Action Against Ex-Detroit Principals, Superintendent Convicted of Accepting Bribes

LANSING  Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today initiated civil forfeiture actions to confiscate the pensions of the 12 ex-Detroit Public School officials convicted of accepting federal program bribery in a $2.7-million kickback scheme that resulted in charges against former Detroit Public Schools vendor Norman Shy and 13 district officials. 

Schuette’s action seeks the forfeiture of all State of Michigan or Detroit Public Schools contributions from the time the bribery began until the time of their termination or retirement. 

“An educator’s first responsibility is to the children of the school, and the individuals that accepted bribes violated that trust and responsibility,” said Schuette. “Actions have consequences, and they should not reap rewards for criminal behavior.” 

Defendants Clara Flowers, Beverly Campbell, Stanley Johnson, Nina Graves-Hicks, Gerlma Johnson, James Hearn, Tanya Bowman, Ronald Alexander, Tia‘Von Moore-Patton, Ronnie Tims, Clara Smith and Willye Pearsall are members or retirees of the Michigan Public School Employee Retirement System (MPSERS) whose pensions have received contributions from the State of Michigan or Detroit Public Schools.   

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 confiscated funds cannot be used to pay restitution.