Wayne County Prosecutor Kym L. Worthy’s Public Integrity Unit in collaboration with Detroit Public Schools (DPS) Office of the Inspector General recently conducted an investigation at the A. Phillip Randolph Career and Technical Center (Randolph). The investigation has resulted in charges against four persons, and was conducted at the request of Detroit Public Schools Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb.
Charges will issue today against Gwendolyn Miller, 58, of Detroit, former principal of Randolph. In addition, Eugenia Rose Holimon, 47, of Detroit, former accountant at Randolph, along with her son Eric Cornelius Holimon, 22, of Detroit, and her friend Robert Louis Gibson, 57, of Farmington Hills have all been charged. Gibson was a Detroit Police officer at the time of the alleged crimes.
While Gwendolyn Miller was the principal at Randolph it is alleged that she embezzled DPS funds to pay for a new heating unit for her home. The furnace was installed by teachers from the school. Miller also allegedly took merchandise for her own use from the school store, including a purse, jewelry and other items.
Between December 2006 and March 2009, while Holimon was the school accountant, she is alleged to have embezzled school money to pay more than $29,000 on her home mortgage. She also added her son, Eric Holimon as an authorized user of the DPS Sam’s Club account. The mother and son are charged with using DPS funds to purchase over $17,000 worth of personal items in the Detroit area and in Tennessee, where Eric Holimon attended school.
Additionally, Ms. Holimon is alleged to have used DPS accounts at Home Depot and Lowe’s with her friend, Robert Gibson to purchase home improvement items at a cost of over $100,000 for Mr. Gibson’s Farmington Hills home, as well as rental properties in Detroit.
“A principal of a school is supposed to be not only its educational leader, but its moral and ethical center. A police officer is sworn to uphold the law. We trust our accountants to guard finances ethically. The evidence in this case will show that a principal, a school accountant, and a Detroit police officer stole nearly $150,000 from some of the poorest school children in the nation,” said Prosecutor Worthy.
“Even a year and a half into this process, we continue to witness evidence that Detroit Public Schools had become a den of thieves and a cesspool of corruption, and we are grateful to the county’s top cop for helping us to weed out waste, fraud and abuse and for prosecuting fully those who believe they can take precious dollars that should go to the classroom for their own personal gain,” said Robert Bobb. “I continue to be surprised by those people who tell me that it’s the culture of our school system and of our city that this kind of criminal activity is acceptable in the hearts, souls and minds of this community.”
Arrangements are being made for the defendants to turn themselves in for the arraignment on the warrant which will be held at 36th District Court.
To report waste, fraud or abuse in DPS, call the Fraud Hotline at (313) 870-3436 or e-mail tips to firstname.lastname@example.org. All tips are kept anonymous.