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Mich. School Officials Plead Guilty

June 21, 2002

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EASTPOINTE, Mich. (AP) _ A member of the East Detroit school board and a former member have pleaded guilty to accepting kickbacks uncovered in a federal corruption investigation.

The pair admitted taking $69,244 in money and goods to steer business to a contractor overseeing a $28-million bond project in the 6,500 student suburban Detroit district.

Board member Karen DeGrande, 44, and former member Bettie Huebner, 73, pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Detroit.

DeGrande and Huebner said they approved contracts to vendors recommended by William Hudson Jr. in exchange for payments.

Hudson owns Hudson Construction Inc. He has not been charged with a crime but has been named as an unindicted co-conspirator. Hudson denies any involvement in bid-rigging.

A sentencing date was not set.

DeGrande received $33,743. She resigned from the board Wednesday.

Huebner received $20,000, a 1995 Dodge Intrepid and one year of insurance coverage. Altogether, her payoff was valued at $35,561. She served on the board in 1983-99.

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