Detroit Public Schools suspends school principal, accountant for alleged misuse of funds

For immediate release
February 23, 2010

Steven Wasko at 313-873-4542 or Jennifer Mrozowski at 313-873-8401

Detroit Public Schools this week suspended the principal and accountant at Randolph Career and Technical Center.

The suspensions of Principal Gwendolyn Miller and accountant Eugenia Holimon are pending disciplinary hearings into alleged misuse of school funds for home remodeling and renovations, food and gasoline for personal use and a projector purchased for a boyfriend.

Based on a phone tip from a former Detroit Public Schools employee, the DPS Office of Inspector General opened an ongoing investigation in July 2009 into allegations that the individuals wrongly used Randolph school accounts at two stores and a catalogue as well as the school’s checking account for more than 13 months. A son and a boyfriend of one of the two had also been given signing power to the school’s accounts.

The Inspector General’s Office investigation confirmed that fraudulent bank statements, computer request quotations and vendor letters were created to conceal true items purchased.

The investigation to date has resulted in allegations that Holimon used Home Depot, Sam’s Club and Dell Catalogue sales for personal purposes, that school employees installed a furnace at Miller’s residence, and that the school’s Comerica checking account was used to purchase equipment for Miller’s residence.

It is further alleged that between December 2006 and June 2009 Holimon spent in excess of $29,000 of Randolph funds for a home mortgage, that Holimon’s out of state son made $6,700 in unauthorized Sam’s Club purchases via Randolph’s account, that the accountant purchased a $2,995 projector for her boyfriend, that she purchased $6,200 on food and gasoline for her family’s personal use, and that Principal Miller ran a tab of $642.28 over a three year period at the school’s boutique shop.

The two suspensions are the third and fourth such actions against DPS staff employed at the district’s Vocational/Technical Centers in the past eight months. In June 2009 the district suspended the principal and bookkeeper at Golightly Vocational and Technical Center for misuse of school funds.

Eugenia Holimon has been employed with DPS for 19 years and Gwendolyn Miller for 26 years.

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