Sunday, January 10, 2010

Major League Operation, Minor League Management


DCSS is a billion dollar enterprise, a major league operation. But it is being run in a minor league manner.

The front page of today's AJC Metro section has yet another salacious DCSS article, this one about Harold Lewis, Director of Special Operations, Transportation Department, $107,000 annual salary, accusing Pat Pope of sexual harassment. In absoutely record time, the school system settled, with Lewis receiving a promotion and pay raise (Is Harold Lewis related to Crawford Lewis? We'd like to know.) Pope is still receiving her $200,000 salary a year while being demoted.

The most surprising part of this is the school system settling this in two weeks. I guess the Ron Ramsey-led Internal Affairs Dept. can move quickly on rare occasions.

This comes on the heels of the shocking news that the Crawford Lewis administration is refusing to work with the DeKalb County District Attorney's Office, on an investigation the the Crawford Lewis administration requested.(?!) By the way, if I was an elected Board of Education member, I would demand that the Lewis administration cooperate with the DeKalb District Attorney, or face immediate dismissal. What does it say when the county school system refuses to cooperate with the county District Attorney (and Crawford and DeKalb DA Gwen Keyes are even Leadership DeKalb alumni!)?



This also comes on the heels on every local TV station covering the in school protest of teachers and staff wearing black in protest of the Crawford Lewis, with one station interviewing an unsteady, warbling BOE member Paul Womack.


“I am going backwards,” (Crawford) Lewis said Wednesday. “I can’t continue doing this. I am not a rookie anymore.”

"I am a bargain for this board."


"From [the teachers' point of view], it's unfair. I agree with that," said board member H. Paul Womack. "But you do what is in the best interest of the county and the kids."

What's that quote about the "inmates running the asylum"?

How does the school system expect to attract top talent with this non-stop barrage of self-induced negative media coverage? Talk to any DCSS teacher, and they'll tell you that the system is going to lose scores of experienced teachers who are tired of eSIS, schools with leaking classroom and moldy heating and air systems, silly e-mails about healthy chili recipes from the Central Office, and Gloria Talley's high paid but unproductive curriculum instructors. The Crawford Lewis demand for a raise was the final straw. We're going to have hundreds of teaching positions open, but top teaching talent won't be applying after doing a Google search about the system.

Now we hear the Crawford Lewis and his administration won't even cooperate with our county's DA Office? When will the madness end? What is it going to take for the Board of Education to make a management change?

Enough is enough is enough.

82 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very nicely done.

I am curious as to why the school system settled as they normally never settle cases. They spend the money dragging the situation out in court normally.

I do remember that Pope wanted to fire this Mr. Lewis and then the accusations came and this was turned over to the District Attorney regarding her. Could it be that the School Board did not want to deal with this publicly with the School Super being in the situation he was? Could it be that these problems came up after all the other problems came up? Could it be that this was an attempt to cover up the incident? Maybe this is why the School System is not cooperating?

Dekalb County School System is a soap opera lately. No wonder Lynn Cherry Grant and some of the other School Board members retired. They got tired of all the trivia stuff that they had to deal with verses dealing with the top priority which is educating our children. It would appear that there are some major disfunctional problems with our school administration. This is so sad. I wish we would stop being front page news. I am embarassed for our county. Ella

Anonymous said...

Are you sure that hrold Lewis and Crawford are cousins, because if so, there's no way the AJC would have missed that...I hope??

Cerebration said...

I have no words anymore. I'm just plain speechless.

Anonymous said...

From the Sam Moss Center boys is that indeed Harold and Crawford are cousins.

Pat went after Harold when she caught Harold having sex with his secretary in his office. BTW -Harold is happily married (or was at that time) Pat went in to ask Harold something and got more than what she wanted to see.

She want to fire Harold buy Crawford came in and saved the day.

I have heard the same story from several SM employees not just one. Sometimes it pays just to sit down and just listen.

Anonymous said...

Interesting stuff from Anon 10:45. If that's accurate, the AJC reporter did a horrible job. How could he miss that Harold and Crawford are cousins???

If you know anything about how DCSS runs, it is a major red flag that the shcool system settled this in two weeks. That is record time, and never, ever happens, unless strings are being pulled.

Cerebration said...

Crimony! Do they get ANY work done around there?

No wonder Cross Keys is still a disaster.

Anonymous said...

I've heard from Sam Moss staff that there's been a lot of sexual relations in thatbuilding over the years, and it was even worse in the 70's and 80's.

Half of Sam Moss services' could be contracted out for less cost and higher quality work.

And if Crawford Lewis' cousin did have sex in a school system office with another school system employee, and wasn't fired that day, then Crawford Lewis, and Ron Ramsey, need to be fired immediately.

Anonymous said...

I have heard so many relationship/affair stories like this. However, I try to just listen when someone starts telling me. However, there does appear to be some possible truth to the information I took as just gossip. What are we paying these employees to do at work? Is this what administrators at the Dekalb County School System have to do to get a raise. I have heard this for years with this administration and past administrations.

Cerebration said...

If the sex on the desk story is true, then Pat Pope should have fired him on the spot. In fact, this would have been indisputable - and even his allegations of a previous affair with Pope wouldn't have made a difference. She would certainly have been within her rights to have fired him.

So, why didn't she?

Anonymous said...

Please tell me that all of this stuff isn't true. I want to be a parent who sends my children toa DCSS school, and that my wife and I will be active in the PTA. But I will not be part of a school system that is so poorly managed.
DCSS has decent elementary schools, but not so good middle schools. Private school looks better and better and better. Talk about FUBAR.

Anonymous said...

I think that Mr. Lewis' cousin needs to go. This is horrible and there is no way anyone would get a fair investigation in the school system. No wonder Ms. Pope has had a smile on her face. Crawford Lewis' cousin was caught with his pants down. Pope tried to fire him and Crawford stepped in and an investigation started on her instead. Then sexual charges just happened to get made on her by Cousin Lewis who got caught with his pants down with the secretary after Ms. Pope tried to fire him.

I would have a smile on my face also if this had happened to me. Know they are digging for something to destroy Ms. Pope's career because Ms. Pope caught Crawford's cousin with his pants down with a secretary. What a mess? We need a new school superintendent and we did not need to give him a raise. Corruption! Corruption! Corruption!

Anonymous said...

Crawford Lewis would not let Ms. Pope fire his cousin. This is where the problems started. He stepped in and overtured her decision.

Dunwoody Mom said...

Okay, I think we have enough to discuss without delving into sexual escapades - that's tantamount to just plain gossip.

Cerebration said...

I agree. That's why I implied that it must not be true - otherwise she would have fired him on the spot.

(I have to work on being more obvious in my statements - sorry.)

Cerebration said...

And - we all know that Crawford Lewis would not have fired his buddy, James Berry, the test cheating principal at Atherton either.

fedupindcss said...

Yes, sexual escapades are just plain gossip--until they spill over into the operations of the school system. If this story is true then it should be discussed. Really, how is this any different than a discussion over whether or not someone took money or made sweetheart deals for contracts, when we don't know all those facts, either? We discuss those, don't we?

Given human nature, this story sounds like it could be true, and given all the familial/romantic relationships within this silly school system, it is probably true.

Cerebration said...

Well, unless and until Pat Pope starts singing - there's a lot we won't know. She's been holding her cards close to her chest and up until now, that tactic has served her well.

But - now - she may want to think about warming up her pipes.

The DA is waiting...

Anonymous said...

The AJC article was written by Tim Eberly, teberly@ajc.com.

Might want to e-mail him and Bill Torpy, AJC Metro Desk, btorpy.com, and ask if Harold Lewis is Crawford Lewis' cousin (whether first, second, third, whatever), and if so, why wasn't that in the article. And ask if Pat Pope did find Harold Lewis having relations with another school system employee in a school system office.
And how this was settled in only two weeks when the school system routinely takes half a year or longer to settle such cases.

That would completely change the tone of the article.

Anonymous said...

Strongly disagree with you, Dunwoody Mom. This is very important. It is not about the actual "escapades". If school system employees were engaging in entirely inappropriate and unprofessional behavior in the Sam Moss Center, and weren't immediately fired, there is a major problem with the effectiveness of management. And if this type of behavior has been occurring at Sam Moss for years (and I've heard from multiple people that is has), again, it goes to the effectiveness of the DCSS management.

It is red flag city to hear that Harold Lewis received a promtion and raise in only two weeks. DCSS has never ever moved that quickly.

Dunwoody Mom said...

Unless someone on this blog actually saw this encounter, then it is my opinion then any talk of this is nothing but idle gossip, which could end up harming innocent individuals. My fear is that some are using this wonderful and useful blog to spread gossip hoping that the AJC picks it up and runs with it. I hope I'm wrong.

Anonymous said...

First I would like to state that "Your Sins Will Call You Out". This blog, aka, Reality Show, Tim Eberly, Justice ( I know who you are) have done a great job at confusing most of you, feeding bad data and basically making a mess of this whole investigation.

The Pat and Harold article today was senseless, personal and does little by way of getting to the root of the problems over at DCSS.

Is it true? You will have to wait until Pat decides to talk. Harold has made his point. I am relieved that this made it to the paper after my departure. My mood would be of a different intensity.

I find this so sad to see lives being destroyed. All of you have made this front page crap because you believe all of this stuff. Fireplaces and kitchens in offices, contract manipulations, friends and family getting work. You get 5% of the data given to you but not the complete story. How can you truly make a sound judgement if you do not have all of the data?

The biggest sin here, you put all of them in office and now, do nothing about it besides skew the facts. The DA is waiting...and so am I.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cerebration said...

Sorry, Anon. We can't name names here. Please don't make me go back to moderating the comments - that's such a pain.

At any rate - I'm curious about the 95% of info you say we don't know Anon. Please, feel free to clear the air on anything we discuss here. If you have relevant information showing that we are wrong on anything at all - I would hope that you would publish it here. I hope that you will tell us exactly what it is you don't think we have "sound judgement" about.

That said, we surely haven't made this stuff up.

So far - we have a superintendent who asked the DA (not his own internal affairs guy) to investigate his COO - a very high level official with access to hundreds of millions of dollars in construction contracts and who also happens to be married to one of the vendors. The DA complies - and then the super and the board decide not to cooperate.

We didn't make that up.

Now, we know for certain, that a male employee of that female COO claims to have a history of a relationship with the COO, and has filed a sexual harassment complaint against her. We know that it was investigated and settled very, very quickly. We also suspect that the male employee could be related to the superintendent.

We didn't make that up.

The stories about the tryst with the secretary - has been rumored for over a year. So far, we have no evidence of that. I doubt there is a picture. If the secretary filed a 25 page written complaint, then hopefully, someone will request a copy via open records and publish it here.

We have to consider that story a rumor.

Anonymous said...

We do not have any facts and I agree we do not have information to make judgement about anything on. However, this is the problem in itself. The lack of transparency of our school board and school system. Why should they be in any situation to not work with the DA? Why should they not be transparent with the public? Apparently because they do not want the public to know the facts. This does bother me.

We do not have facts to make any decision. I could not agree more.

However, if behavior like this is occuring it does need to be uncovered.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cerebration said...

Once again, Anon, you just can't call out people like that. I see that even the AJC pulled down that comment. Sorry.

Ella Smith said...

I also think we need to be careful. However, I am concerned that the school system are not cooperating with the DA.

We do not have any facts and I agree we do not have information to make judgement about anything on. However, this is the problem in itself. The lack of transparency of our school board and school system. Why should they be in any situation to not work with the DA? Why should they not be transparent with the public? Apparently because they do not want the public to know the facts. This does bother me.

We do not have facts to make any decision. I could not agree more.

However, if behavior like this is occuring it does need to be uncovered and investigated and not covered up.

I think it is important that individuals can be Annoymous on this website if they want to be. Many work for the School Board and cannot use their identity. We want their input.

Anonymous said...

Interesting point below. Why do secretaries in the Central office make $10,000 to $20,000 more than the ones in the schools? And the ones in the schools work 1000x harder than the unfriendly, never heard of customer service Central office admin assistants.


http://www.championnewspaper.com/news/articles/228board-approves-15k-raise-for-schools-superintendent--228.html?comment_id=206#comment_206


I totally agree with your comments. Let's not forget to mention a $2500 a month expense account. I know employees that do not bring home $2500 a month! There's a dark cloud of suspicion over the school system about
alleged misappropriation of construction funds (millions of dollars). Some board members have relatives that were GIVEN jobs that they did not rightfully deserve over other more qualified applicants. Other board members own businesses that they profit from because of their affiliation
with the school system. DeKalb Schools is way too "TOP HEAVY". Far too many unnecessary positions were created to 'accomodate' people who should have been fired or allowed to retire. There are too many secretaries who make in
excess of $60K (at the district level only - of course). School house secretaries are lucky to make $40K. DEKALB SCHOOL OF GRADUATES - 2 positions - both pay more than 85K - what do they do? Principals who Dr. Lewis 'likes' are hidden from public view after they get in trouble - out of sight - out of mind - while they still collect HUGE salaries. Those he doesn't - get demoted, umiliated, if not fired altogether. He made it very clear when he received the job that he was going to look out for
everyone who looked out for him - and he has done just that - all at the expense of teaching and learning!

Anonymous said...

Cere, I do think the Frank Lucas June 22 11:13 am comment from http://blogs.ajc.com/get-schooled-blog/2009/06/11/schools-investigated-for-crct-cheating/
is interesting. You don't have to post the comment here, but posting the link is fair. Mr. Lucas has no problem putting his name on the post.

retired said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
fedupindcss said...

I agree with previous postings, that the fact that this case was settled so quickly and so well (for H. Lewis) is highly unusual for DCSS. They usually do settle, but only after a long, drawn out affair with huge legal bills (and that is in cases with facts stacked against them). But what is stranger is that after they settled it so quickly, which you would think would indicate truly egregious facts, they did not immediately fire Ms. Pope. If they were so sure she did something wrong that they paid up immediately then why keep her around?

I know, they keep people on staff who have done worse. But still, it does make one wonder what the real trigger was.

Dunwoody Mom said...

So, which is it: is Harold Lewis a cousin or a nephew? Or you can't keep your stories straight?

Anonymous said...

Do you know who has the most to lose in all this? US!!! And not just because of all the obvious reasons, but because the one "expert" witness DCSS has against Heery Mitchell is being crucified in the paper and the press on a day to day basis.

Heery Mitchell is the big winner in all this-- we, the taxpayers, parents, students, employees of DCSS, are the losers.

Anonymous said...

I asked a school system employee I know. He isn't sure if he's a cousin or nephew, but he said it is common knowledge that Harold and Crawford are somehow related, and Harold had to be moved from his first position in Plant Services.

Cerebration said...

Thanks, Anon. I think that is about all we can say on the issue here. We really can't be delving any deeper into the story, as it really is just all hearsay.

What is so incredibly sad to me is that DCSS is always so deeply embroiled in such a wide variety of lawsuits - often filed by the administration itself - that they lose sight of any kind of vision for our children. I, for one, am so tired of the drama. Tired of the "emergencies". Tired of the corruption, greed and nepotism.

My goal here at this blog will be to dig around and find some really REALLY good people to run for the four board seats up for reelection. These people will hopefully focus on the education of ALL children in DCSS - not just bringing more and more SPLOST dollars to their district. I so rarely hear our current leaders discuss education, innovation or streamlining in order to find and place the most highly qualified teachers in our schools. Heck - our current board and administration has nearly depleted our teachers of any kind of morale.

If you live in one of the districts with a board member who is up for reelection, please put on your thinking cap and find that right person. We will hold "blogger" meetings to discuss how to create grassroots support for these people - we will support them as a TEAM of replacements - because individually it's so hard to afford a campaign - and we don't want to be stuck with whoever wins because they had the most money for flyers and postcards and yard signs.

We will somehow - as a team - BE the change we seek.

Anonymous said...

The research TO CONFIRM whether the two Lewis' are related would be a whole project in and of itself. Why? Because the school system won't answer questions.

If you're writing an article with a deadline, some stuff just doen't get answered in time.

Anonymous said...

This is all very frustrating. My daughter is in Kindergarten this year and I am sickened of all the happenings of DCSS. As a fairly new resident in Georgia, what can we do as citizens to make a change? Our kids deserve better than what is going on and the parents and community need to stand up and make a change. I want to make a change, but don't know where to begin.

Jim Horn said...

Glad to see you are looking to expose the waste and corruption in DeKalb. If you think a $15K raise for the Super is a bid deal, have a look at the multi-million dollar no bid contract signed with SchoolNet, Inc. to run your constant surveillance data systems.

Big, big, corruption. Mega.

Jim Horn

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:55, yes things are really, really bad right now with the administration of DCSS, but there are many great parents & teachers. People are not paying close attention to the Board of Education. Tell parents you know about this website. Ask them to attend a BOE meeting and watch them online. Ask them to write and e-mail their BOE members with concerns. If you know of good potential BOE candidates, strongly encourage them to run. Did you know that none of the current nine BOE members have a child currently in the system? And of course, every school PTA needs involved parents.

For too many years, the Board of Ed and DCSS administration operated with little public scrutiny, even though they have a larger budget than the county gov't. This website has started something important; more people than ever before are concerned about how the Board of Ed and this DCSS administration operate.

Things are changing for the better, but it will only happen if the public becomes much more involved and active.

Cerebration said...

Tell us more, Jim Horn. Write it up in an article and email it to us at reparteeforfun@gmail.com and we'll post it. I'm very interested in this story.

Cerebration said...

Anonymous - I don't know what to tell you. It used to be that you could just focus on your own school and things would work out. However, now, we have an administration who has demoralized teachers and staff to the point that it is effecting the classroom and the students. Not only are the teachers suffering from salary cuts, they are asked to do more with less, having to deal with larger classrooms, many work in decrepit buildings and now they must go home and spend their evenings dealing with a total failure of a student information system.

The ONLY thing you can do to help right now is vote board members out. Find a trustworthy, competent candidate and get behind that person. Let your state legislators know how you feel. Mine, Kevin Levitas has introduced legislation specifically designed to address conflicts of interest on the DeKalb school board. Let your county commissioner know how you feel and demand tht they step in and try to help us reclaim our schools. Let the state school super know how you feel. Let the governor know how you feel.

Mostly, if you do use your public school, get involved and stay involved. Support your child's teacher - directly. Get parents together to help with supplies. Things are falling through the cracks and it's ultimately up to parents to rally to fill in the gaps.

Anonymous said...

Board meeting is on now. Don't forget to watch-- Zepora Roberts is giving an argument about why the system has actually done what it is suppose to do in terms of the investigation.

Anonymous said...

Could someone please post a copy of the AJC article regarding the alleged sexual-harassment case that is referenced at the top of this section?

I am concerned that the repetition of hearsay -- and this would not be the only such instance -- is tainting an otherwise commendable effort.

Dunwoody Mom said...

The article was only in the print version of the AJC, I believe.

Cerebration said...

It's not available online, otherwise we would have included a link in the post. As soon as it does become available, we will add the link. Sorry.

I will recap - (or you can hunt down yesterday's paper if you'd like).

School Official Denies Claims
by Tim Eberly

DCSS settled a 2008 sexual harassment complaint filed by Harold M. Lewis accusing Pat Pope of retaliating against him for rejecting her sexual advances. The article says that Lewis and Pope had had a relationship before he transferred to her department. He says that she tried to rekindle the relationship and he refused her advances. As a result, he was denied a promotion. In fact, Lewis wrote in a statement which was obtained via Open Records that "She is retaliating against me because I will no longer have sex with her."

Pope's response is, "I strongly take exception to Mr. Lewis' accusations and deny them."

The case was settled after only 2 weeks by giving Lewis a pay raise and a promotion.

It goes without saying that Dale Davis had no official statement.

Lewis, who met Pope (then Reid) at a wedding in June, 2002 is quoted as saying, "Patricia Reid and I became fond of each other instantly and had a sexual relationship until around mid-2003." Lewis said he broke it off because she was pressuring him to move in with her.

In 2005 Pat and Vincent (Tony) Pope were married.

Pat Pope denies having an intimate relationship with Lewis but acknowledged knowing him prior to working for DCSS.

It is not clear why or how Lewis was transferred to one of her departments in the first place.

Friendly said...

The DeKalb County DA has taken via subpoena thousands of pages of evidence from DCSS along with the office and home of Pat and Tony Pope. DCSS had an employee working in the DA's office to sort through the reams of papers from July to January. The DA has everything it can possibly get from DCSS. Gwen Keyes Fleming & Co are just not smart enough to put the pieces together.

Anonymous said...

Lets see, Lewis and Pat abuse the car program; Pat settles sex discrimination suit with Lewis; I am sure the bigamy topic should make Sunday's news. Good grief. By the way who was she cheating on, the first or second husband? What a sic person.

Anonymous said...

Her name is Patricia Ann Reid. She is not a Pope.
Thanks
Anthony Vincent Pope, AIA

Anonymous said...

The Harold Lewis - Pat Pope mess is definitely a mess. But it is a minor situation compared to the other issues regarding Crawford Lewis and Pope. We spend hundreds of millions of taxpayer SPLOST dollars. Not one of those dollars should be wasted. Every dollar should be open to the public in a transparent manner.

Yes, if Harold Lewis is related to Crawford and he received a promotion and raise in record time, Crawford needs to be held very accountable. But the bigger issue is the SPLOST spending. DeKalb residents will not pass SPLOST IV if all this nonsense is ended for once and all. We have too many schools that were ignored by the previous SPLOST's because of poor decision making and BOE pressure to renovate and build schools not by need, but because of BOE pressure. If there isn't a SPLOST IV, thousands of our students will continue to attend schools in miserable condition, like Seqouyah (hopefully Cross Keys will finally get its due).

Cerebration said...

NOTE! The very reliable word from several sources is that Harold Lewis and Crawford Lewis are not related in any way.

Wanted that out there.

Dunwoody Mom said...

Good work getting that straightened out cere. Now, hopefully, those people that keep posting rumors as fact will check their facts before they post.

Cerebration said...

Well, this is also the official word from Dale Davis according to a reporter. I wonder why the AJC reporter just didn't include the usual (no relation) in the article.

Anonymous said...

Whole lot of Sam Moss staffers are saying that Harold and Lewis are related in some manner, and it was Harold who told them that. Maybe he was trying to brag and name drop, but he personally told them.

Cerebration said...

Apparently he was just trying to impress people - or maybe joking. (?)

Cerebration said...

Wow! Talk about customer service! The AJC customer care rep sent us the text of the article!

Part 1-

School official denies claims
DeKalb system settled sexual harassment suit against staffer in 2008.Official part of current construction probe.

Tim Eberly / Staff

The DeKalb County school system settled a 2008 sexual harassment complaint involving the school official in the middle of a criminal investigation
into multimillion-dollar construction projects, documents show.

A male employee who worked for Patricia "Pat" Pope, the district's then-chief operating officer, accused Pope of retaliating against him because he rejected her sexual advances, according to documents obtained through an Open Records Act request. The employee, Harold M. Lewis, said that he and Pat Pope had a romantic relationship before he transferred to a department that she oversaw, documents said.

After he began working for her, Lewis said Pope tried to rekindle their relationship but that he refused her advances, according to documents
detailing Lewis' accusations. As a result, he was denied a promotion, Lewis said. "It is clear by Mrs. Pope's actions that she is retaliating against me
because I will no longer have sex with her, " Lewis wrote in a statement for the school district.

Pope denied harassing Lewis and having a sexual relationship with him, according to her statement.
"I strongly take exception to Mr. Lewis' accusations and deny them, " Pope wrote.

The school district denied any wrongdoing, but settled the case by giving Lewis a promotion and a pay raise, documents show. When asked why the school district settled the claim, spokesman Dale Davis provided a brief statement by e-mail: "It was an administrative decision, which are made on a case-by-case basis. We are not at liberty to discuss
specifics regarding personnel matters."

Lewis is the director of special operations in the Transportation Department, making $107,000 annually, Davis said. He previously worked as
the assistant director in the Plant Services Department, one of the departments Pope oversaw at the time. Pope has been removed from her position as COO, but continues to work for the school district on special projects at her nearly $200,000 annual salary.

Pope has declined to talk to the AJC, and could not be reached for comment for this story. Lewis and Pope's attorney, Manny Arora, also declined to comment on the matter.

Lewis has been working for the school district since 1993, but began working under Pope in 2006. She joined the school district in October 2005. Lewis said he and Pope, then Pat Reid, met in June 2002 through a cousin of his who was in town for a wedding, according to his statement. "Patricia Reid and I became fond of each other instantly and had a sexual relationship until around mid-2003, " Lewis wrote. "I broke off the relationship because she was pressuring me to move in with her, which I did not wish to do."

In 2005, Pope married Tucker architect Tony Pope.
Tony Pope is also a central figure in the county authorities' investigation into school projects. Of the six projects being investigated, he worked on three of them. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Cerebration said...

Part 2 -

Pat Pope denied having an intimate relationship with Lewis, but acknowledged knowing him prior to working for the school district. It's not clear how or why Lewis was transferred to Pope's division. At the
time, she was in charge of several departments located in the school district's Sam A. Moss Service Center, including the Design & Construction, Transportation and Plant Services departments.
"We both discussed whether we could handle working together when I took the job in Plant Services and agreed that we could, " Lewis wrote.
As co-workers, Pope and Lewis often spent time together, driving to meetings and having dinner and drinks afterward, Lewis said. "She has often held my hand, or rubbed my leg and reminisced about our past, " Lewis wrote.

Pope denied making advances toward Lewis.
Lewis also said the two often ate lunch in Pope's office. "Her husband Tony Pope would visit the office and see us there, " Lewis wrote. "Mrs. Pope has told me that her husband has asked her if she and I had had a relationship and she told me that she told him no."

Lewis also accused Pat Pope of spreading a rumor about him because she suspected that he was involved with a former co-worker. "Mrs. Pope did not like the fact that [the co-worker] and I went to lunch together, which she confronted me about on numerous occasions, " Lewis wrote. "Mrs. Pope even escalated her jealous retaliation by falsely reporting that I was caught having sex with an employee at work in an attempt to discredit my reputation."
The school district had been trying to resolve the personnel matter between Pope and Lewis since July 2007, without success, documents show.

As a result, Lewis filed a formal complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Aug. 21, 2008, one day after Pope gave him a
letter of reprimand and recommended him for administrative action in connection with an office spat between the two.

Anonymous said...

Again, record time for a promotion and raise after filing a complaint. Ron Ramsey can move fast when he wants to...and the state senate is not in session.

Anonymous said...

And if you think that Crawford and the BOE knew nothing of this, you're wrong. Just take a look at the called Executive Sessions (no media or public allowed) for the purpose of discussing a "personnel" or "legal" matters. If you're happy with what's going on, great for you. If not, YOU need to do something about it -- because apathy is the historical trademark of DeKalb involvement.

Anonymous said...

A retiring teacher told me that the man at TRS told her DeKalb had a significantly higher number of teachers looking into retirement than any other county.

Very scary, but not surprising. I hope that parents wake up and see that they need to band together and and demand more for their kids.

Anonymous said...

So Dr. Lewis has called a meeting for all teachers in DCSS today after school to discuss MAJOR BUDGET SHORTFALLS for this year and the next school year.

So glad that he got his raise. He knew this before he ever went to the board.

What a shallow guy.

Will keep you posted after our meeting today. If there are other teachers out there than can post before I get back on please report what you heard. We have to work together!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

"MAJOR BUDGET SHORTFALLS"

Well, Crawford, you have a whole lot of unnecessary administrative positions for a system with a static enrollment. The last thing to be cut should be classroom related. Obviously, the first thing to cut is administration, like the made up Executive Director of Corporate Wellness position. I'd love to see a forensic audit by an outside consultant for all non-classroom spending and staff. Tony Hunter's Info. Systems Dept is very bloated and inefficient. And Gloria Talley's army of 400 plus curriculum instructors could all be let go tomorrow and our teachers wouldn't even notice they are gone.

But we all know Crawford protects his turf first and foremost. The last thing he'll cut is administration, even though it should be the first. Our "bored" Board of Education enables his out of wahck priorities.

Anonymous said...

This is what I got from the meeting. Please tell me if I am wrong. I hate it for my principal who had to write down everything Clew wanted said because he did not want a paper trail. What a coward.

1) Teachers get their tax annunity back. Thank you for that one. But there is a catch to that..

2) Every must take a 2% pay cut next year.

3) Some might get layoffed. (I might have been po'd is miss understood)

4) There may still be furloughs down the pipe line.

5) and the very last thing stated was that he would cut central office (I had to laugh at that one).

Now #1 will only work if the school board passes the budget that Clew puts forward. He stated that he doubts that they will because it is not a balanced budget.

Cerebration said...

Why would he even put out a budget that's not balanced. I thought it was the law - school boards must run on a balanced budget...

Anonymous said...

He also asked that the teachers be "team players" in dealing with the budget problems. Are you KIDDING me????

Anonymous said...

These are my notes:

2011 has a $56 million deficit

Budget must be balanced according to the state law.

Goal is to not lay off any employees or to have a tax increase.

Put back tax shelter annuity.

Reduction is Central Office and System Services.

2% Salary reduction and work reduction (furloughs) across the board.

Central office will be effected not the "school house."

School house employees will get to keep jobs, although some schools may lose points

If you are given a new title or take a new job within the district your salary will remain the same (no raise) until June 30, 2011.

Anonymous said...

Also remember that the tax shelter will only be ok'd is if the school board ok's the budget. That is going to happen when pigs fly.

We don't neccessarly get our tax shelter back. The teachers in our meeting thought that was a sure thing. It is not. Also, if we do get our tax shelter back it will not start until July and will not be back dated for the money we already gave the school system this year.

I really felt bad about my principal too. That person had to write down the entire conference call. Central office went over the "script" several times so that the principals could write it down correctly.

I know why CLew did that because an email would be open to "Open Records Act". Good one CLew, Good one.

The only good thing is that Central Office wanted to give us our contracts this week. Well, they can't because they can not figure out what our salary is going to be next year. So they have to wait until March.

I got enough time to get out of the county. Thank GOD!

Anonymous said...

When pat pope had her meeting with the sam moss center in december 2008 she said that there would be no lay-offs. January 8, 2009 employees were call in her office and told they no longer had jobs as of june 31, 2009. She never look up from her paper and that was it. They were told that the system would help them prepare for other jobs in the system, only a few have gotten jobs. From that day on they were treated very badly. She once made a comment that if some people's mannerism didn't please her they would be gone before june. Looking back she was the one that should have lost her job. Those were people that had been with the system for a large numbers of years. And she is still geting paid.


My point is as employees i think we have to be very careful what we beleave when they tell us something. When you add up those salaries of the people that were lay-off, there is no way it made a dent in the budget. Lewis will hurt the little people but none of that central office, family members will get hurt. If anything they will get a raise like he did.

So keep your ears and eyes open i got a feeling it is going to get very interesting.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:24 never truer words were spoken...
I am one of those employees that was laid off June 30,2009. Don't believe anything these people say from the BOE to Crawford Lewis...they will lie, they will cover their tracks and will defame your character if you attempt to call them out on their transgressions. Everyone should begin sending out resumes because you may find yourself unemployed like us.
Years of dedicated service means nothing to these folks...take care of their own is the name of the game. Are you a part of the in crowd...if so you may be safe...if not, come up with an exit strategy quickly.
Be afraid...be very afraid and trust no one and I do mean no one. Nothing is ever as it seems and it is certainly unfair for workers to stand in fear of losing the job they take pride in everyday because of greed.
DCSS is in need of medical attention because they have a virus that started when CLEW became Super and it's gonna have to vaccinate everyone of the BOE to get him out of office.

Anonymous said...

yes lewis let pope lay those people off and when some of them wrote letters to him and the board,
he would have one of his cronies meet with them and well you know the rest.

And to think she had the nerve to try and look down on people. Her closet must be over-loaded with skeletons. Hope she like the color orange

Anonymous said...

I demand that the school board lay off Yvonne Butler and stop and "corporate wellness program" and the de-promote Tony Hunter from Executive Director back to Director of Info. Systems right now, before he even has the gall to ask teachers to take pay cuts.

Cerebration said...

Right on, Anon. That Wellness Program is a travesty - a colossal waste - and nothing but a "perk" for administration (in their new shiny offices) under the cloak of a "countywide initiative". The Wellness Center makes me ill.

Click on Mr. Potato Head to read Kim and Ella's report from last year on waste and bloat. There are PLENTY of places to cut the budget other than teacher's pay. PLENTY.

And there are PLENTY of buildings that need to be closed/consolidated/shuttered or sold. WHY did they put the brakes on THAT? Hmmm. Don't they have an election coming up?

Cerebration said...

The overall comparison of DeKalb's Administration costs to Fulton's

DCSS Total Salaries 2008: $682,709,025.22
DCSS Admin/"Central Office" Salaries 2008: $170,590,619.93
Ratio 2008: 24.987%

FCSS Total Salaries 2008 $552,969,891.22
FCSS Admin/"Central Office" Salaries 2008: $56,194,268.83
Ratio 2008: 10.162%

Anonymous said...

It is funny how they put the "brakes" on the redistricting/closing of schools because it is an "election" year. But the way that I see it, many of DCSS teachers live in DeKalb County.

I have a teacher that lives in my neighborhood that told us who to vote for after talking to the canidate and talked our mom's club and really thought very highly of this person.

Last night her words were, "I helped put this person in and I will help take this person out". Her next question was what qualities would you like to see in a board member and let's work together and find a candidate.

Dekalbparent said...

Another perspective on why Frankie Callaway (a Deputy Superintendent) suddenly disappeared from the scene. The events precipitating the retirement / resignation probably will not surprise anyone [big sigh]

http://www.wsbtv.com/video/22250810/index.html

Cerebration said...

Oh good god give us a break!!! That report is just one more brick in the wall. Thank goodness for Richard Belcher - we wouldn't know much without his good old-fashioned investigative reporting.

DCSS described Callaway's career as "34 wonderful years of service".

Gag.

Anonymous said...

My favorite part of that video was that the board did not think Calloway did anything unethical, but that the teacher who quit in protest did.

What?

Anonymous said...

I love how DCSS still alleges that the teacher made ethical violations, despite the Georgia Professional Standards Commission clearing her of wrongdoing. But not Frankie Callaway, oh no....

I feel like I work for gangsters.

Anonymous said...

Hey Dr. Frankie Calloway, you made a huge salary for years, while being dismissive to staff and parents. It makes me smile knowing that your 34 years in DCSS is tarnished and the WSB report will be the first thing people remember about you, and that you have no problem with graduating students who don't do their work and don't go to class. Karma.

Anonymous said...

I can absolutely assure you that DeKalb teachers come under intense pressure to change grades for students who have have failing grades. The pressure comes from parents and flows through to the teacher from the principal. Teachers should not quit - rather they need to seek legal recourse. It is against the law to force a teacher to alter student records. DeKalb officials need to be held accountable for such actions. In the end it is the student who suffers for these unethical actions. Giving a student a passing grade he/she has not earned is dishonest and unfair to all students.

Anonymous said...

I can also tell you that as a parent we have experienced teachers who have not graded fairly to our kids who have attended regularly -- without rubrics and without turning things around in a timely manner. Grades have been entered and then changed to negatively impact my kids. These are situations where it may be appropriat for a teacher to be required to change a grade.

Anonymous said...

There are also situations where AP teachers are not following the national curriculum and where points are awarded for odd, non-academic reasons (e.g. not using bathroom passes and bringing in doughnuts).

Anonymous said...

Hey, Anon 9:21--your kid must attend nationally recognized Lakeside High, where academic excellence rules!