*A Detroit school principal who recently received a $500,000 donation from “The Ellen DeGeneres Show“ for his struggling school is now facing federal charges for a participating in a bribery and kickback scheme.
On Tuesday (Mar. 29), U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade revealed that current Charles L. Spain Elementary-Middle School principal Ronald Alexander pocketed $23,000 in kickbacks from Allstate Sales, a Detroit Public Schools vendor of school supplies, CBS Detroit reports.
Court filings show that Alexander and 12 others allegedly conspired with the Allstate Sales owner Norman Shy in a scheme to submit invoices for supplies that were never delivered.
According to McQuade, the total amount of bribes and kickbacks Shy paid to the 13 school officials was approximately $908,518. In exchange, Shy and Allstate Sales allegedly received approximately $2.7 million from Detroit Public Schools.
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News of Alexander’s legal troubles, comes just over a month after “ellen” assistant Jeannie Klisiewicz introduced Alexander as “the most amazing man” on the hit daytime TV show. A grinning and enthusiastic Alexander was then seen on video in the Feb. 11 episode, thanking “ellen” host Ellen DeGeneres for the money Charles L. Spain Elementary-Middle School needs
“Of all the people in the whole world, I am the happiest principal on Earth. I love you, we love you…This is the best!” Alexander said, before joining DeGeneres to announce the surprise donation to cheering students and staff.
Responding to the Alexander’s situation DPS Transition Manager Steven Rhodes said Tuesday that Alexander, along with five other current DPS principals charged in case, have been placed on unpaid leave.
An upset Rhodes added that he shares the outrage over the principals’ alleged conduct as does the public. As a result, Rhodes mentioned that steps are being taken to avoid a repeat of the same thing, with the district implementing a list of checks and balances effective immediately.
To see the “ellen” episode featuring Alexander, check out the video below: