DETROIT — A judge has sentenced three more Detroit principals to prison for taking bribes from a school contractor.
Clara Smith, who accepted $194,000, was given the longest punishment Wednesday — two years — while James Hearn got 10 months and Willye Pearsall was sentenced to 15 months behind bars.
Pearsall says, “It’s not anybody’s fault but mine.”
The government says bogus invoices were submitted for paper and other supplies. In exchange, principals received gift cards, cash and checks from contractor Norman Shy. The scheme cost the Detroit district nearly $3 million.
Fourteen people were charged: a dozen former or current principals, an administrator and Shy. All but one principal has pleaded guilty. Shy was sentenced to five years in prison.