Friday, November 5, 2010

New Grand Jury Investigation, Meet the Auditor, Dr. Lewis' trial delayed

Did anyone know that a new Grand Jury had been convened to look at the school system?

According to WSB-TV, Ms. Tyson is doing a great job, going "above and beyond the call of duty." So far, I haven't been able to find any articles about this Grand Jury, so I am including the clip from WSB-TV.

http://www.wsbtv.com/video/25625632/


MEET OUR INTERNAL AUDITOR

From WSB-TV:

In the wake of a racketeering scandal which landed three school district employees in jail, the DeKalb School Board has now hired an internal auditor to watch over its business operations and prevent fraud."It's absolutely critical, especially in this kind of economy and environment," said Gary Babst, who spent 30 years working for General Motors. He's also a certified fraud investigator."It's the cop on the corner mentality. If I'm there and I'm visible, people are going to maybe rethink some of the things they'd otherwise do," Babst told Channel 2 Action News investigative reporter Jodie Fleischer.

He said the district has the policies in place, but they haven't always been enforced. "I can't get it fraud free, and unfortunately that's just the reality of life. I can minimize it and we can certainly make examples of people that we catch," he added. Babst reports directly to the school board, so he's just as free to investigate high ranking employees if need be

Link to full story:

http://www.wsbtv.com/news/25627027/detail.html

Be sure to watch the video.

And now the latest news on the trial of Lewis/Reid/Pope/Moody

Embedded in an AJC article about DeKalb's new DA was the this little tidbit:

James comes as prosecutors are preparing for the corruption trial of former schools Superintendent Crawford Lewis and three others charged with running a criminal enterprise at the school system. The trial was scheduled for January, but it has been pushed back several months while Lewis appeals the dismissal of his lawyer.

http://www.ajc.com/news/dekalb/dekalb-solicitor-to-take-720631.html

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

A new grand jury did NOT reconvene to look at the school system. This is the regular grand jury that is assembled every two months to do criminal indictments. It is common for county officials to visit the grand jury and discuss government operations. At the end of each grand jury session, they write a recap which includes how many indictments they did, along with general comments about their views on county operations based on those presentations made by government officials. The sheriff, CEO and county commissioners regularly are included.

Dunwoody Mom said...

Here is the document for the May/June Grand Jury session. It does mention DCSS - starts on page 6:

http://dekalbda.org/DocumentView.aspx?DID=1476

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering what kind of ties there are between DeKalb's newly elected DA and the old DCSS administration. I am pretty sure the prosecution team has been hired out to another law firm. Is james going to continue to work with the outside prosecution team?

themommy said...

Anon 10:34 am Thanks for the explanation.

I couldn't figure out how we could have missed this one.

Anonymous said...

fry 'em and get it over with!

Anonymous said...

Robert James is the epitome of "unbought and unbossed". You can count on him to be professional and fair at all times.
After all, a person is innocence Until proven guilty. Let the trial begin and let justice prevail.

Anonymous said...

It took nearly a year to get the auditor in place. Happy to have him on board. Internal affairs has been split between him and Ron Ramsey. Financial investigations now go to the new auditor- perhaps reviews and investigations are not so long that people are able to retire before completion of a investigation.

Anonymous said...

I was looking forward to this trail, but i don't beleave it will ever happen. Something is just not right in the da's office. First it was august then january then keys left and now lewis lawyer. I smell a rat and he is a big one.

After the board members that should be gone are back in office it is a sad day in dekalb for the children and teachers. They will keep all the friends and family and they are still hireing families members as of this week.I will pray for our children and teachers. Let the games begin.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:58, I agree with your statement. I do not believe that justice will ever be served for the children of DeKalb. Wasteful spending will continue along with a poor education for most.

It has been a sad week for me, as I had such hope for the elections to start a change and turn around for ALL children of DCSS, sadly I do not see that happening unless a higher power takes over the system. Our current players don't have the children's best interests at heart and never will.

Anonymous said...

I work in the sam moss center and you would have to be as blind as hell not to be able to see what was going on. Lewis knew and so did the board. They were all feeding off the money, trips, dinner parties, car deals, gift cards,over time,shoping trips with harold lewis, using the county car and gas for there needs. I was hopeing that they would go to trail also but i have no faith in the da's office also. They are all friends and they all attend new birth. I also don't think that sacs will do anything about the the cheating and the friends and family.

Ms. tyson seems to have every one fool that she is doing the right thing. I have seen the real ms. tyson and beleave me she is all lewis.

Anonymous said...

If you read the article about the auditor, it sounds like he retired from GM so he probably has a pension. He is a great choice, because he doesn't "need" this job. He probably has nothing to fear from unemployment. So he can look under all rocks, etc.

I am also guessing he values his reputation and he won't let the system hide indiscretions.

Anonymous said...

Gary Babst, the public can help and support you with your job, but we need transparancy like this (if the new City of Dunwoody can do it, the billion dollar operation of DCSS can too!):

http://jkheneghan.com/city/meetings/2010/Nov/11082010_Financial_Reports.pdf

http://www.dunwoodyga.gov/Departments/Finance_Administration/Accounting_Reporting.aspx

Anonymous said...

In the interview on WSB, Mr. Babast said that he was putting together a "risk assessment team". Why is that needed? He should be looking for waste, fraud and abuse in DCSS.

Anonymous said...

Don't you think there is to much work for one person to do? Babst has a huge job ahead of him as he must look both backwards and in the present time.

I am thrilled to see that he is going to use outsiders so their is no appearance of inside interference.

Anonymous said...

One of the main problems that he he needs to be aware of is Ronald Ramsey. I suggest that he watch his back when it comes to him. I don't even know why he is still on the pay roll. If he had been doing his job and listen to the employees complaints about pope maybe she would have been stopped a long time ago. I am sure that there is some young man out that with more education than he has that could do a much better job. We need some new people in the system that owe no favors. It is people like him that are in the way and our children can not get jobs because of them. He should do one or the other. And please send Robert Tucker home. I am very aware he has no life but that is his calling. GO HOME PLEASE YOU HAVE HAD YOUR DAY. We have a large number of people in the county office that have thirty years plus
I think they should go home and let these kids have some jobs. Our children are comeing out of college and cannot get jobs and a lot of it is because of people like Robert Tucker.

Anonymous said...

I'M STILL WAITING FOR SOMEONE TO COME ALONG WITH A BACKBONE THAT WILL DO WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE WITH THE FRIENDS AND FAMILY THAT NEED TO LOSE THEIR JOBS. EACH AND I MEAN EACH PERSON SHOULD HAVE TO REAPPLY FOR THEIR JOBS AND SHOW WHY THEY DESERVE TO HAVE THEM. BUT, HERE WE ARE ... AND THEY, UNDER THE MOST UNUSUAL OF CIRCUMSTANCES, ARE STILL GOING TO WORK EVERYDAY. AND I USE THE TERM "WORK" VERY LOOSELY.

PEOPLE THAT ARE NOT FRIENDS AND FAMILY HAVE BEEN "THROWN UNDER THE BUS" WITHOUT EVEN A THOUGHT FOR MUCH MUCH LESS, AND SOME (LIKE ME) FOR NOTHING AT ALL.

Anonymous said...

I feel your pain, I worked for the system for over 20 years and i was layoff in 2009. I came to work every day some sick. I had a very good working record and never gave any trouble. Some friends and family did not have the kind of time we had and they are still working. I must say it hurts but what do you do? I have move own and i thank god every day that i have been able to get another job and i am very happy. But i have friends that were layoff and they still don't have a job. I also know that the system is still bringing in friends and family. Things will not change until new blood is brought in and even then there will be the old dogs around to collect the fleas.

No Duh said...

Has Mr. Babst set up the Fraud Hotline he announced at the BOE meeting at which he was introduced? Anyone use it yet? Wanna share your experience -- as cyptically as possible?

Anonymous said...

There seems to be some people that think some of those laid off were wrongfully terminated. If you believe you have a case, you should sue however most probably do not. There are hundreds of thousands of people that were laid of in both private and public industry during these economic bad times. Why is it that those laid off in DeKalb feel they were entitled to their jobs?

I don't mean to sound harsh but unless things turn around, more layoffs could be recommended during the budget session. Everyone needs to be prepared for that.

Anonymous said...

No Duh

Being cryptic, I know someone who has met with Babst and has been very pleased. He asked all the right questions and this person has already seen a minor change so this person expects more changes imminently.

Anonymous said...

I think that Ron Ramsey and other "friends and family" are probably in place and will remain in place because of the very strong ties between DCSS, DeKalb County and others with New Birth and until someone very strong is willing to really tackle and bring down those ties, those folks are not going anywhere.

Anonymous said...

Hey Nov. 7th, 6:54 ...
I am NOT talking about lay offs. I totally agree with what you said about LAY OFFS. It happens to the best of us and isn't a reflection on our work ethics or record. What I AM talking about, and what happened to me, is being "let go" or "reassigned" or "demoted" because of a pre-meditated set up, because of a false accusation that even proved itself untrue through the legal system. It's a hurt that doesn't quickly go away.

Anonymous said...

I feel your pain.

I, too, will tell my story when the time is right and hopefully the right people will then be investigated.

There should be no time limit for bringing the right people to justice.

These people know who they are and should be prepared to face what is ahead for them.

Anonymous said...

Until formal schooling (as opposed to actual learning) is no longer forced at threat of gunpoint by the state, until parents become responsible for payment of their own children's tuition, until teachers must compete for jobs based on their results and efficiency, until citizens are not forced at threat of gunpoint to pay for the institutionalizing of strangers' children, there will be waste and corruption in government school systems. Such is the nature of government.

We can work on lessening the burden, but in the long run, we must find ways to teach our own children useful knowledge such as how to provide food, water, shelter and clothing for themselves when our current fiat money system suffers a complete breakdown.

But first, we must learn these things ourselves, as we have become dependent on the value of paper and digital Federal Reserve Notes for every facet of our lives.

Our country has begun to suffer the effects of having more dependents than providers. All government workers (including teachers and school administrators)and welfare recipients (including families with children attending public school) are dependent on productive workers.

Since several generations have now been taught in public school Social Studies classes that America is a democracy, in which the majority rules, there is little hope left for the minority who realize it was designed to be a republic, limited by the constitution.

Anonymous said...

I am very aware that many people have been layoff in the united states. Let me break it down for you the dekalb system did not layoff any of the friends and family who had less seniority of people that could do there jobs much better. Jamal Edwards brain has not worked since he walked in the door and to hide out for 6 months and draw a check and then get a raise PLEASE. He is just one of many and you know it and everyone in the central office knows it. Andre Brown east dekalb walk in as admin.assistant making more money than others. Who is she? She is crawford Lewis college friend and she still has her job with only a couple of years. The lady didn't even know how to do a e-mail. This is why so many people are hurt. If the layoffs had been done fairly and they knew it to be true i am sure people would look at it different. Hr has some of this most corrupt people in the state of georgia. We have discuss this before on the blog and what i am saying won't help, but until you have walked in someone shoes like many of the layoffs going thru you don't understand. I will keep then in my prayers as many of us should.

Anonymous said...

Keys got an opportunity and left for a reason. She saw all the corruption in the school system and at New Birth. She was bothered greatly and got out. She did not like what she saw. She saw all the connections with New Birth and the School System and it made her sick in the investigation of the school system and Dr. Lewis. Do not kid yourself. The corruption is bad. However, I heard someone say it best this week-end publicly. When the truth begins to come to pass about New Birth and their Bishop watch the mass exist from the church. An empire was built and an empire will fall because of corruption and unlawful things behind the scene.

Anonymous said...

DCSS is an absolute joke! Ronald Ramsey should have been let go months ago! All this corruption between Pope, Lewis, the former board chairman, Francis Edwards and her family of DCSS employees will never go anywhere. If they are shown the door they will threaten lawsuits etc... Jamal Edwards should have been fired by Tyson years ago, after being given a raise, a new job and then decided to hide out for 6 months at a school until PARENTS spoke up! Ms. Tyson had no idea where Jamal was and approved his higher wage and pay check for 6 months before being asked if she knew where he was. I was in the room when Ms. Loeb, Asst. Super at the time, asked Ms. Tyson. Tyson said, "I have no idea." When Ms. Loeb informed her, Tyson seemed surprised. Both Jamal and Tyson should have been fired on the spot! Instead Tyson is Super now and believe me she is as much involved in the corruption of DCSS as Lewis was.

Our system is incredibly broken and believe me this leadership bunch will create havoc if shown the door. They have a gun to the stakeholders heads and believe me if they have to they will pull the trigger. I hope Babst and his risk assessment team can clean up the mess!

Someone needs to find Ms. Debbie Loeb and find out why she retired so quickly. Was she threatened? What does she know? It's time the stakeholders take the gloves off and fight this corrupt bunch at DCSS. Trust no one! This charette thing has been thought up to distract the stakeholders and make sure the administration comes out squeaky clean!

Folks don't look at the left hand, we must keep an eye out on both hands! Something is terribly wrong and New Birth, the former Lewis leadership and Ron Ramsey took advantage of the DeKalb stakeholders. IT'S TIME FOR ALL OF THEM TO GO!

Anonymous said...

Anon November 7, 2010 6:54 AM

Look around at the neighboring school systems we have 10 that make up the greater metro Atlanta area. No other school system has done the things DCSS have within the past 3 years...not funding retirement, layoffs, furloughs, etc.
Now I know some would say that other school systems have found ways to cut corners but they spared jobs. And those that were laid off were given other positions and even teachers were called back.
So please stop making excuses for bad decision making on the part of the weak and spineless leaders or should I say criminals of DCSS.
Those wimps stole money from the budgets they slashed to fund their own personal capital improvements, which is why they will stand trial for rackeetering and bid rigging, etc.
Back to my original point, there are plenty of areas that should have been cut and have not or will not because the family and friends plan is first on the agenda not only for the BOE but also for the Cabinent leaders within this corrupt establishment.
Good luck to the parents who fight the good fight for your children sake. I wouldn't wish this school system on my worst enemy. Parents trusted the leadership of Lewis, Pope, etc and for that they receive the ultimate punishment...a visit from SACS and more indictments likely for some of those cabinent leaders who did not report the misdeeds of those facing charges.
The student deserve so much better than what they are currently receiving..and BTW those infamous white leather chairs are still at DCSS so MS Tyson stop lieing we saw the chairs and guess what..shame on the people who support the leaders who lie. Demand transparency...companies don't take back furniture unless it was their mistake..they are not eating the cost of that bill....check it out if you don't beliee me or the hundres of workers in the new palace who knows the truth...you can't hide White Leather Furniture...

Anonymous said...

Keyes may have left for a reason... I understand that the ticket out came from Hank Johnson. Just a rumor but it makes sense. If she saw all the corruptiona nd really saw what was going on and it is what a lot of us really think it is, then she had a legal, ethical and moral duty to turn the investigation over to someone else -- either to another DA's office or, better yet, to the U.S. Attorney.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous November 8, 2010 9:48 AM, you must be living in a dream world or asleep if you are not aware of the challenges other metro area school districts have faced during this economic crisis. You don't remember the teacher layoffs in Cobb? How about the salary cuts teachers faced in Fayette. Gwinnett is facing a possible ethics probe for how their layoffs were handled. Fulton cut the music program from their elementary schools. Most school districts used furloughs as a means to save money. Some districts even reduced the number of school days.

DeKalb has its problems and a well deserved bullseye on it from the media. Having Board members always willing to talk does not help much. But don't fool yourself, citizens in other counties wish their school systems could get the type of public scrutiny that ours has gotten.

Kim Gokce said...

The creation of this auditor role directly under the BoE is long overdue. How a $1b+ operation could have been allowed to carry on without this kind of oversight is hard to understand.

No more excuses ...