Big Box Watch: Detroit latest to file Office Depot complaint

I’m actually amazed it’s been this long since we had some new Office Depot news, but of course, when it came it was not surprising. The Detroit Public School system is the latest to accuse Office Depot of overcharging on their contracts, as reported by the Detroit Free Press:

The Detroit Public Schools chief investigator is researching allegations that its office supply contractor, Office Depot, overcharged the district over the past three years.

The company is already under investigation in several other states and, according to the whistleblower, agreed to repay the city of Berkeley, Calif., approximately $289,000 after that city’s officials uncovered overcharges spanning the past 3 years.

DPS Inspector General John Bell contacted the whistle-blower involved in the Florida investigation immediately upon learning of this alleged scheme Monday, said district spokesman Steve Wasko.

“We are looking into its impact on DPS,” Wasko said Monday evening.

Office Depot released a statement today by email denying allegations that the company overcharged the Detroit Public Schools.

“Office Depot enjoys a good relationship with Detroit Public Schools,” spokesman Jason Shockley said. “We are not aware of any complaints from the Detroit Public Schools regarding overcharging and we have no reason to believe we have been overcharging them.”

This is one of the times where this news has really hit home to me. Everyone likes to think of the big bad government sitting around all rich and corrupt, so who cares if we overcharged them a few pennies?

Well, I lived near Detroit for a long time, and had friends go through the DPS, some as students and some as teachers. These schools need every penny they can possibly get, and to try to overcharge them for the basic necessities of pencils and paper is just despicable.

Hopefully it won’t be much longer before I get to report that Office Depot has finally collapses under all of this wrongdoing, and we can just put the whole mess behind us.

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