Ex-Northville School Official Pleads Guilty to Obstructing Grand Jury Investigation

April 28, 2021, 4:16 PM by  Allan Lengel

Deanna Barash (Photo: Twitter)

An ex-assistant superintendent of Northville Public Schools has pleaded guilty to obstructing a federal grand jury investigation involving a questionable contract, the U.S. Attorney's Office said Tuesday. 

Authorities charged that Deanna Barash, 46, of Auburn Hills approved a contract for the school system to buy educational materials from May 2018 until Decmber 2019 without disclosing the financial relationship.

After she left the district to become an assistant superintendent in West Bloomfield in September 2017, Northville school officials learned of the contract and told Barash they were reporting the matter to law enforcement. Subsequently, authorities alleged that Barash deleted some emails to the company from her private email account.  

She then lied to federal investigators, authorities said. Initially, Barash claimed she deleted the emails as part of a regular routine, but later admitted to doing so to prevent investigators from seeing them.

She resigned from her West Bloomfield job in March and was charged April 6.

“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,” Timothy Waters, head of the Detroit FBI, said in a statement.

On her Twitter page, she describes herself as a "dedicated educator who believes all kids can achieve whatever they dream."

Barash, who has two degrees from Miami University of Ohio, was a high school principal in Bimingham from 2011-14.  

At sentencing Aug. 25, she faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Under federal guidelines, she's likely to get far less.

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