Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes
This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
DETROIT (AP) — There are no shouts of innocence from a former Detroit high school principal charged this week with taking bribes. Just the opposite.
"Let me be honest — I benefited," Kenyetta Wilbourn-Snapp told the Detroit Free Press (http://on.freep.com/1jSEZoL ).
"I couldn't have $2,000 in my pocket from a vendor ... and not buy gas for the car," she said, referring to a Maserati.
An indictment unsealed Thursday charged Wilbourn-Snapp with conspiracy and other crimes. She's accused of accepting nearly $60,000 from a company hired to perform tutoring services.
Wilbourn-Snapp, who was principal at two struggling schools, Denby and Mumford, said payoffs were part of the education culture in Detroit. She recalled how her grandmother got a job in food service and an uncle became a football assistant at Denby with money from a vendor.
She said she learned the system from a principal early in her career.
"She would give us gift cards and the best tickets to the (Detroit) Pistons, and we never knew where it came from," Wilbourn-Snapp said. "And anytime we wanted to buy something that the district denied, she said, 'Here, take a Visa.'"
She said she's a "sucker for the underdog" and helped many poor people with utility bills and other needs.
Keith Johnson, former head of the teachers union and a mentor to Wilbourn-Snapp, said the allegations shocked him.
"If what is alleged and what she's admitted is true, it ends up pretty much destroying what had been a great career," Johnson said.
Denby and Mumford schools are part of a special district created by the state to improve academic performance in certain schools.
Information from: Detroit Free Press, http://www.freep.com
Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.