AUBURN HILLS, MI – A former Assistant Superintendent of the Northville Public Schools (NPS) pleaded guilty to obstructing a federal investigation.
Deanna Barash, 46-years-old, of Auburn Hills, stands convicted of obstructing a federal grand jury investigation. The FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office were conducting the investigation after they learned that Barash, then the Assistant Superintendent of NPS, approved a contract for NPS to purchase educational materials from a third-party without disclosing to NPS that she had a financial relationship with this party.
After Barash left NPS, school officials learned about the contract and made Barash aware that they were reporting her actions to authorities. Barash then deleted certain emails between herself and the third-party from her private email account.
In an interview, Barash lied to federal investigators about her actions. She originally claimed that she deleted the email messages only as part of her regular routine, but later admitted she deleted the messages because she learned she was under investigation and was attempting to keep investigators from seeing them.
Acting United States Attorney Saima S. Mohsin stated, “Safeguarding the integrity of our public schools’ expenditures is of the utmost importance. We will continue to work with school systems when there are concerns of corruption or fraud related to the disbursement of their funds. Today’s guilty plea underscores our office’s commitment to hold people accountable for interfering with these and other federal investigations.”
“Deanna Barash used her position as the assistant superintendent of Northville Public Schools for her own financial gain, and then attempted to avoid accountability by destroying evidence of her wrongdoing,” said Timothy Waters, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Michigan. “The FBI is committed to preserving the public’s confidence in government at every level and will hold accountable any public official who undermines that confidence.”
Barash faces a maximum sentence of ten years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for violating of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1503, obstructing a federal grand jury investigation. Her sentencing is scheduled for August 25, 2021 at 11am..
Mohsin thanked the Northville Public Schools for its cooperation in the matter.