Law Forum : Grand Jury Indicts 35 In Connection With Atlanta Public Schools Cheating Scandal

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GRAND JURY INDICTS 35 IN CONNECTION WITH ATLANTA PUBLIC SCHOOLS CHEATING SCANDAL

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 29, 2013

Former Superintendent Beverly Hall Accused of Leading ‘Conspiracy’

Atlanta - A Fulton County Grand Jury has returned indictments against former APS Superintendent Dr. Beverly Hall and 34-subordinates in connection with a test cheating scandal. Each of the defendants is charged with Georgia RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) conspiracy. The 65-count indictment also includes charges of False Statements and Writings, False Swearing, Theft by Taking and Influencing Witnesses in connection with the alleged conspiracy to alter Criterion Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) scores.

The District Attorney’s 21-month criminal investigation follows a 2011 probe initiated by the Governor’s Office into testing irregularities and cheating allegations on 2008-2009 CRCT exams in dozens of Atlanta Public Elementary Schools. The District Attorney’s Office created a special unit of prosecutors and investigators to explore potential criminal activity connected with the allegations. The investigation included a review of testing activity associated with at least 50 APS schools as well as hundreds of interviews with school administrators, staff, parents and students.

Prosecutors allege the 35 named defendants conspired to either cheat, conceal cheating or retaliate against whistleblowers in an effort to bolster CRCT scores for the benefit of financial rewards associated with high test scores. The alleged activity dates back to as early as 2005. In addition to Dr. Beverly Hall, the indicted defendants include four high level executive administrators, six principals, two assistant principals, six testing coordinators, 14 teachers, a school improvement specialist and a school secretary.

Grand Jury warrants have been issued for the arrest of each defendant. The case will now be assigned to a Fulton County Superior Court Judge and scheduled for trial.

########### Defendants

Dr. Beverly Hall – Superintendent
Violation of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
False Statements and Writings
False Swearing
Theft by Taking

Millicent Few, Esq.– Human Resources (Executive Staff)
Violation of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
False Swearing

School Resource Team Executive Directors: 3

1. Dr. Sharon Davis-Williams (SRT-1)
Violation of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
False Statements (2 counts)
False Swearing

2. Mr. Michael Pitts (SRT-2)
Violation of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
Influencing Witnesses

3. Ms. Tamara Cotman (SRT-4)
Violation of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
Influencing Witnesses

Principals: 6

1. Mr. Christopher Waller (Parks Middle School)
Violation of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
False Statements and Writings (3 counts)
False Swearing

2. Dr. Luscious Brown (Kennedy Middle School)
Violation of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
False Statements and Writings (2 counts)

3. Ms. Dana Evans (Dobbs Elementary)
Violation of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
False Statements and Writings (4 counts)

4. Ms. Clarietta Davis (Venetian Elementary)
Violation of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
False Statements and Writings (2 counts)
Theft by Taking3

5. Mr. Armstead Salters (Gideons Elementary)
Violation of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
False Statements and Writings (2 counts)
Influencing Witnesses

6. Ms. Willie Davenport (D.H. Stanton Elementary)
Violation of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
False Statements and Writings (2 counts)

Assistant Principal: 2

1. Mr. Gregory Reid (Parks Middle School)
Violation of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
False Statements and Writings (3 counts)
False Swearing

2. Ms. Tabeeka Jordan (Deerwood Elementary)
Violation of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
False Statements and Writings
Theft by Taking

Testing Coordinators: 6

1. Ms. Sandra Ward (Parks Middle School)
Violation of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
False Statements and Writings (3 counts)

2. Ms. Francis Mack (D.H. Stanton Elementary)
Violation of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
False Statements and Writings

3. Mr. Sheridan Rogers (Gideons Elementary)
Violation of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
False Statements and Writings (3 counts)

4. Ms. Lera Middlebrooks (Dunbar Elementary)
Violation of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
False Statements and Writings (2 counts)
Influencing Witnesses

5. Mr. Donald Bullock (Usher-Collier Heights Elementary)
Violation of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
False Statements and Writings (3 counts)
False Swearing 4

6. Ms. Theresia Copeland (Benteen Elementary)
Violation of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
Theft by Taking
False Statements and Writings (2 counts)

School Improvement Specialist: 1

1. Dr. Tameka Goodson (Kennedy Middle School)
Violation of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
False Statements and Writings

Teachers: 13

1. Ms. Starlette Mitchell (Parks Middle School)
Violation of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
False Statements and Writings (3 counts)

2. Ms. Kimberly Oden (Parks Middle School)
Violation of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
False Statements and Writings

3. Ms. Shayla Smith (Dobbs Elementary)
Violation of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
False Statements and Writings (2 counts)
False Swearing

4. Ms. Angela Williamson (Dobbs Elementary)
Violation of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
False Statements and Writings (2 counts)
False Swearing (2 counts)

5. Ms. Dessa Curb (Dobbs Elementary)
Violation of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
False Statements and Writings (2 counts)

6. Mr. Derrick Broadwater ( Dobbs Elementary)
Violation of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
False Statements and Writings (3 counts)
False Swearing

7. Ms. Pamela Cleveland (Dunbar Elementary)
Violation of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
False Statements and Writings (2 counts) 5

8. Ms. Shani Robinson (Dunbar Elementary)
Violation of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
False Statements and Writings

9. Ms. Diane Buckner-Webb (Dunbar Elementary)
Violation of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
False Statements and Writings (2 counts)

10. Ms. Gloria Ivey ( Dunbar Elementary)
Violation of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
False Statements and Writings (2 counts)

11. Ms. Lisa Terry (Humphries Elementary)
Violation of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
False Statements and Writings
Theft by Taking

12. Ms. Ingrid Abella-Sly (Humphries Elementary)
Violation of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
False Statements and Writings (2 counts)
Theft by Taking

13. Ms. Wendy Ahmed (Humphries Elementary)
Violation of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
False Statements and Writings (2 counts)
Theft by Taking

14. Ms. Sheila Evans (Benteen Elementary)
Violation of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
False Statements and Writings (2 counts)
Theft by Taking

Secretary: 1

Ms. Carol Dennis (Kennedy Middle School
Violation of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
False Statements and Writings6
Charges and Sentence Ranges
Violation of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act O.C.G.A. 16-14-4 (C)
 

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