Pension cut for 13th principal in DPS kickback scheme
The Michigan Attorney General’s office has seized the 13th forfeited pension from a convicted Detroit Public Schools principal.
On Friday, state Attorney General Bill Schuette announced he secured the state-paid portions of the pension held by former Detroit principal Josette Buendia.
Buendia was convicted by a federal jury in December of federal program bribery in a $2.7 million kickback scheme in connection with Detroit Public Schools vendor Norman Shy and 12 other district officials. She was sentenced to two years in prison.
Schuette has already secured pension forfeitures for the 12 other principals involved in the bribery scheme.
“These individuals were entrusted with the education and well-being of their students and teachers,” said Schuette. “Instead of doing the job they were given, these individuals selfishly stole money to line their pockets while robbing those children of better opportunities.”
Wayne County Chief Judge Robert Colombo Jr. entered a court order on Friday for the forfeiture of all state-paid pension contributions of Buendia covering the time frame of the criminal activities.
Buendia’s pension has been reduced by $866.20 per month or $10,304.40 per year.
The money secured by the AG’s office will go back to the State Public School Employee Pension Fund for state-paid pension contributions.
The total amount being returned to the fund for the 13 convicted principals is $202,808.52.
Collectively, the 13 principals will repay $358,079.57 to the state. That is pension money some had already collected from the state prior to their convictions.