Thursday, September 30, 2010

Justice Moves Slowly


Will the case against Dr. Lewis actually ever get to trial?

The AJC is reporting that the Judge who is presiding over the Dr. Lewis' trial is considering removing his attorney. The prosecutor has raised concerns because the firm of Lewis' attorney firm represents Parsons Construction Firm. Employees of Parsons, including Barbara Colman who is the school system's construction manager, are scheduled to testify at the trial.

"At the end of the day, Mr. Brown has to cross-examine one client in favor of the other,” Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney John Melvin told the judge Thursday. “Parsons is at the entire epicenter of this case and will talk about the inappropriate activity they inherited. ... It’s an inescapable, irreconcilable conflict.”

Read the entire article here:

http://www.ajc.com/news/dekalb/ex-dekalb-schools-chief-648452.html

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't understand--does Barbara Colman work for Parsons or for DCSS?

Anonymous said...

I think she works for DeKalb as like a consultant on loan from Parsons.

I think DCSS is paying Parsons and they are paying her.

Would you keep the attorney if you were Dr. Lewis?

Sagamore 7 said...

Ms. Barbara Colman is the interim CIP of Operations for DCSS.
She is the head of the design and construction division for DCSS.
678-676-1331.
She is not part of the old regime, she is new blood.
She stands for accountability snd transparency. I hope.

Sagamore 7

Cerebration said...

The deal here is - Dr. Lewis' lawyer works for Alston & Byrd. This law firm, also represents Parsons, the firm Ms Colman works for, in all kinds of matters (on retainer?). Ms. Colman's big job in life is two-fold: to finish the construction projects in the transparent light of day - and to dig through the past and testify as to the corruption she has uncovered. Most likely, she will not have nice things to say about Pope (Reid) and Lewis. Lewis' lawyer will then have to cross-examine her - she being an employee of one of his firm's biggest clients. I would imagine that Dr Lewis has already blazed through his allotted money (was it $100,000) given to him by our school board for his legal defense. That leaves him with "small potatoes". If I were he, I'd be shopping for a new lawyer - yesterday. But - he is most likely not able to afford it. This is going to be a very long and detailed trial where the DA will dig up every little bit of evidence they can. That's hard for small potatoes to fight. I guess he could go with a court-appointed attorney - or sell his house maybe. Those are some sad choices.

Anonymous said...

Cere 5:44..." I guess he could go with a court-appointed attorney - or sell his house maybe. Those are some sad choices."

I really like you Cere and you appear to be a fair person and I respect your opinion...buttt...

We have no sympathy for CLewis....we lost jobs some are about to lose their home because he and Pope/Reid were greedy and self serving...helping themselves to any monies they saw fit...they better dig out the hidden account of stashed cash they took from SPLOST or our salaries they took....as I see it he got a better deal than the rest of us RIF'D employees...he got a huge check and we got the boot.

His problems are his problems...and theyc(Pope and Lewis) made it the students of DCSS problems. I for one will not worry about Lewis, he will be just fine..

Maybe he can borrow some money from his friend the Bishop or maybe he can borrow some money from his friends he gave huge raises a year ago.

Hey, that's what friends are for, right?

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

The HR people are a joke. I saw a long list of paras on the job list and wonder why we aren't calling our paras that were RIFed back? It doesn't make sense to me, to offer them a job. Whether they want to come back is another story, but they should be offered a job before it is posted.

Anonymous said...

I do not understand how they are placing the people who were RIF'd, because people who were with the school system for many years are not being placed, but the people who just started with the school system are being placed.

Anonymous said...

I was one of the RIF'd para's - I had previously worked in an elementary school and loved it. In late August HR called my and offered me a position at a middle school. I am happy there but miss the little ones. ...no complaining though, I'm just happy to be working! I am hoping they don't do another RIF at the end of this school year and I'm in the same position I was this fall...jobless. If they really consolidate/close schools it could happen.

Anonymous said...

In DCSS, it's not what you know, but who you know.

They are probably doing this to save money, as the newer people are cheaper.

Anonymous said...

I have a good friend, an experienced elementary school teacher, who moved her last year. A Henry County principal said she wished she could hire her, but she could nearly hire two teachers for the price of my friend!

Anonymous said...

My question is how can they call someone back that was in the 2010 lay offs before the 2009 lay-offs. I know for a fact that some of the people in 2009 are much more qualified than the lady from the sam moss center. She has not been with the county that long. At any rate they are still doing the same old thing, it's who you know. I thank god that i have been able to move own but there are a lot of the people from the county who are having a hard time.

The people in hr should learn how to talk to people they have some real nasty people over there and they too could end up in our shoes one day. For the rif'd people you are in my prayers.

Kim Gokce said...

This is very savvy of the prosecutor and the judge would be smart to support the request. There should be nothing left to chance to avoid grounds for an appeal or mis-trial.

No Duh said...

Kim is right. avoiding a mistrial is key. But, I can't believe the Alston Bird people wouldn't have already thought about this.

Some ppl think Lewis was just a hapless puppet. If he is being framed, perhaps his lawyer thinks Colman can help prove this.

Of course, there is the gas thing...

themommy said...

but the P card misuse is small potatoes compared to all the construction stuff.

I am not a lawyer, but I would thank that once the Judge and prosecutor have explained to Dr. Lewis that this is a bad idea, and yet, he continues to do it anyway, that some of his rights in appeal maybe go away?

themommy said...

I would think that if the lawyer is removed, the trial would be delayed.

Do we know if the plan is to try all 4 together?

Anonymous said...

They must all be tried together to make a stronger case for the prosecutor. That would be a tragedy if they tried 4 separate cases..either they are all guilty on some counts or they are found not guilty on all counts.

The trial will begin in January so he'd better find another legal eagle soon for the show must go on or they will be delayed until Sunner 2011. This could be like the Brian Nichols case that took almost 3 years to go to trial which was heartbreaking for the families of the victims.

Anonymous said...

Friends, I think we are off on another side street. Let's get back on the interstate and find out WHAT is Ms Tyson doing about improving student learning THIS year? WHAT is happening with Math? Can we bring about some change, even if it is just to continue to use the new, but bring out the old books and sequence according to a standard text book? WHAT is happening with class size? WHAT is happening with the Office of School Improvement? WHAT are the goals for improving student performance THIS YEAR and the plan for how they will be achieved? Great things were done about the toilet paper, someone is listening. Let's do great things about student achievement. Waiting on new board members, waiting on a new super, waiting, waiting, waiting! It's too late for the students graduating this year...if we continue to wait, it will be too late for next year's class. STOP the car, get on the fast track focused on success!

Anonymous said...

Did I just see a few Dunwoody High School Students on Good Morning America? They had a poster with the school's name...just wondering

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:07 I think your comments are great but in the wrong section...we are talking about CLewis possible change of attorney and delaying of the trial on this actual topic...you may want to put this post on eduKalb because as I see it we are in the proper place and on topic..I am not being mean just saying...again I think your comment was spot on just on the wron side of the street.

Dunwoody Mom said...

Yes, the students from the Academy of Mass Communication and Academy of Finance are making their annual trip to NYC this week.

Anonymous said...

No Duh--
Perhaps correct, in that there are always hidden reasons with downtown law firms. They usually "have" the judges, so I'd be surprised if she gets disallowed.
The way this case is entangled with the Heery complaint is mind boggling and will restrict witnesses and testimony.
Interesting that the Heery case will dictate this one, not vice versa-and this is the criminal case!

M G said...

The judge issued a ruling this morning.... Dr. Lewis is looking for an attorney


http://www.ajc.com/news/dekalb/judge-dismisses-ex-dekalb-650784.html

Anonymous said...

Well Judge just ruled that CLewis must get a new attorney and he needs to do it ASAP to get this trial moving along....good looking out D.A. office we don't need any loopholes in this case

Anonymous said...

@ 8:07....I'm actually with you. The drama of the courts is just that. I'm hoping that another post opens to get us back on topics related to structural issues impacting instruction. I talked to someone today who said that students at Tucker h.s. were in classes with up to 60 students! and others were sitting on blankets and pillows because there were not enough desks. This came from a parent who said she visited the school and saw it. My kindergartner still doesn't have a handwriting book.....no offense, and I know it doesn't relate to the current topic...I agree with 8:07 that we should start strategizing to impact these kinds of issues. If it worked with toilet paper, let's reach higher....

Cerebration said...

If true, please encourage people to take pictures of these situations and send them to the blog at

reparteeforfun@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Cere: I think that they have finally started reducing those classes...but I'll follow up. I remain concerned about texts and overcrowding...these sound like issues at Lakeside and Chamblee as well. I know that the state dropped all caps, but are we trying to retain caps of any sort???

Ella Smith said...

I can understand that the judge needed to rule this way. However, I also can feel empathy regardless of the situation for the defendent. Dr. Lewis has spent a great deal of money and time with this attorney. It will cost a great deal of money for him to hire a new attorney and for this attorney to get up to speed on the case. Attorney defense in situations like this are extremely expensive and no one deserves to have to pay additional money for defense. How much additinal money might this cost Dr. Lewis.

I come from a legal family and I cannot imagine having to start over after all this time. However, I can also respect the judge's decision. She is a superior judge and probable made a wise decision. The decision may be costly to Dr. Lewis however.

M G said...

Anon 1:22

Kindergarten did not receive handwriting books this year. Last year we had Handwriting without tears, it was new. We were told the workbooks were consumable and we'd be receiving them each year. This year, there's a new Language Arts program, but no handwriting books.

I'm not sure if there's supposed to be some component of the new LA program that is supposed to be the handwriting, perhaps they consider the phonics pages that we have to copy and the practice books to replace the handwriting.

Anonymous said...

MG 10:26 The handwriting paper was printed by the printshop...which was closed last year...this is what outeourcing gets us...we lack all things needed to run the school.

We used the printshop in ways that no one ever told us for over 30 years it has been a big part of DCSS, so I did some digging and this is what I found out.

All the calendars, abbreviated (important dates) calendars, posters (no bullying, visitors, athletic posters), bus driver manuals, athletic banquet programs, high achievers certificates, lunch applications, student code of conduct, transportation forms, discipline brochures, bus tags for our students backpacks, discipline and referral, PTA info, attendance and hall passes, Magnet, Theme and school choice brochures and applications, IEP forms, brochures, flyers, Fernbank Science Center materials, newsletters, DCSS letterhead, business cards and envelopes for all departments, schools and centers, teacher of the year posters, programs, etc...

Every piece of documented material our students/parents receive on registration and the first day of school was printed in the printshop which is now closed.

If you want cost effective savings for printing, outsourcing isn't our best option. We have tried it and failed miserably due to inflated prices from the companies selected by our defunct leaders.

Parents this is why you are ill-informed as to what's going on within DCSS. Ask your leaders to get it together and remember what our job is...educating the students and informing the parents.

There are many students who do not have access to computers or internet to receive newsletters and other school/DCSS literature.

Anonymous said...

Great information on the print shop. How can we show the board that closing the print shop is costing DCSS more money than if it had remained open?

M G said...

We must be speaking of different things. I teach Kindergarten and we never received handwriting paper from the printshop. For several years, we received Handwriting workbooks from the Zaner Bloser company. Last year we received materials and workbooks from Handwriting without Tears. Both of these are commercial handwriting programs that were purchased by the district.

All other paper in my classroom was provided by parents or myself.

Anonymous said...

MG for years we have used paper that resembles notebook paper printed by the printshop at the beginning of the school year.

I don't know about the paper you are speaking of, however, with the budget cuts DCSS are making the leaders are advising themselves instead of asking the professionals who deal with the students daily of the real needs.

Sorry for the mix-up.

Anonymous said...

I have had three children go through kindergarten in DeKalb county. Not once, has paper been provided.

I wonder why there is a difference. Title 1 school perhaps?r

M G said...

I don't think it's a Title I issue. I teach in a Title I school and in 10 years have never seen this paper.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 10:31
I think all service jobs and many administrative ones should be considered for outsourcing. The benefits alone often consume 50% of a lower level employee's salary and benefits. 8,300 service and 1,239 Central Office employees compared to 6,500 is just too unbalanced for our students.

Anonymous said...

Anon Oct 2 11:21 pm...I think the big issue is that DCSS doesn't consider the needs of it's students/teachers before cutting services. Some positions could be outsourced including some top level staffing positions this could cut down on the nepotism.

When we consider how much we spend on outsourcing some positions compared to other salary increases where is the real savings...bottom line DCSS took from one side and gave to the other....that's fraud in my book and playing the nepotism card to the "inth" degree. We haven't saved anything by outsourcing just making some of our lives a living pain in the rear. Our school and departmental budgets have been slashed therefore we can't afford to pay outsourcing cost..unless you are receiving Title 1 funds and yes it makes a difference who gets what when it comes to Title 1 schools always fair better than non-Title 1schools.

I have seen the stuff delivered to those schools and wondered why not all the schools...all students need the same level of learning not certain schools. I'll never understand this mess. Fix the schools not just the one's being classified as Title 1. Fix all the schools and this would cut down on so many transfers..someone really needs to look into DCSS spending for the classroom compared to other areas and salaries....there could be more cuts to the classroom if this isn't done soon.

Anonymous said...

"MG for years we have used paper that resembles notebook paper printed by the printshop at the beginning of the school year. "

Lined paper intended for use by school children can be purchased. just like copy paper. You can purchase the more expensive white lined paper or lined newsprint. I hate to think we are making our own on our school copiers. No wonder those copiers are breaking down.

Anonymous said...

For as long as i can remember we have had a print shop. Pat Reid closed the print shop and we all know what a mess she has made over the years. She also closed the dispatch services dept. this dept. handle all emergency at our schools and process the work orders. Is this why we had all the over time this summer? My under standing is that we have a large number of work orders that have not be been completed. When will the people in the central office try and correct the mess this low life person made. It has been said that she closed the dept. and never look at the effect it would have on the children and teachers.

Anonymous said...

As of Thursday, Dr. Lewis had not hired another attorney. Has anyone heard anything that indicates that he got it done on Friday?

Anonymous said...

I heard last night that the Heery-Mitchell trial and the Pope/Reid/et all trial are going to be going on at about the same time and that they will most likely overlap.

I wonder if that will work? I think that the witnesses might overlap.

Cerebration said...

This makes me ill. I am completely sickened at the thought of how much money these two people have cost taxpayers. First, in (alleged) transferring of projects to insiders, Second in criminal investigations into Lewis, Reid-Pope, Pope and Cointa Moody (not to mention Moody's rip-off salary). These costs are coming to taxpayers not only from the DA's office, but from school system attorneys - some to protect the system - some to defend Lewis, etc. So we're paying for the plaintiff AND the defense!

Now add to that - the untold millions upon millions to King & Spalding and other law firms to pay for the civil case -- filed by the board and Crawford Lewis -- and it's a wonder we have a dime left over for books...

Anonymous said...

More mess, tangetially related eto DCSS high paid attonrey Josie Sutherland:

http://dunwoodynorth.blogspot.com/2010/10/representative-jill-chambers-criticized.html

Anonymous said...

Pretty dirty on Chambers part since she just filed a Chapter 13 case herself and isn't quite playing by the rules.....