Reblogged from the Detroit Free Press
The first time Kenyetta (K.C.) Wilbourn Snapp broke the law, she had been in a new job for less than a week.
It was 2009. She was in her first stint as a principal, and she was to run Denby High School, the city’s worst-performing school that year. The Detroit native was eager to achieve — and eager to please.
“I was the first person to make it in my family, so everybody started coming around,” she said. “My grandmother showed up and Food Services hired her. … Then comes my uncle tagging along and, I’m like, ‘Do I have to give him a job?’ ”
She had no job available, so she asked her football coach to hire her uncle as an assistant. She paid him using funds from a DPS vendor. That vendor paid Snapp $750 every time she gave him the names of 20 students for a tutoring program. She said she doesn’t know whether the program actually existed.
The second time she broke the law, she buried a student’s mother. With school funds.
She knew it was illegal. But after the first few times, stealing became easy. Then it became routine. And Snapp, a beloved high school principal by day, became a savvy, well-connected crook around the clock.
“If you needed money, you could get money,” Snapp, 40, told the Free Press in a series of exclusive interviews.
She accepted my call because I wrote the story six years ago of how she turned Denby around in 2009. She said she wanted to try to explain why she did what she did.
“There’s a network,” she said. “It’s so deep.” Read more>>