Sunday, May 30, 2010

Pope pushed Lewis into it - according to the AJC...

Today's AJC article is strange.  It makes the case that Lewis was "more of a supporting character to the woman who ran the district’s construction program."

In a 127-page indictment handed down Wednesday, Lewis is portrayed as a superintendent who turned a blind eye to violations of district policy and state law, compromising himself for little in return. . . .

The indictment does not allege that Lewis took any money, but that he received free tickets to sports, theater or social events. So, if that allegation is true, why would Lewis sacrifice his career for free tickets?

The indictment does not offer a direct answer, though it states that Reid “knew things about him which would damage him...” The damaging information is not spelled out in the indictment. . . .

When asked about the ticket allegations, Lewis said, “In the five years that I was superintendent, I received two tickets to go to the Masters [golf tournament] in 2008. When I received the tickets, I didn’t know where the tickets came from.”

So, I guess they want us to believe that Pat Pope Reid did this all by her little lonesome. If true, then our school system is a very weak steward of the public trust of over a billion dollars a year. If not, then there simply must be others who want us to buy this story for some reason. Wonder who - wonder why...


Anonymous said...

No adults minding the store, No checks and balances. A billion dollar enterprise with an out to lunch board of ed.

Anonymous said...

"The indictment also alleges that Lewis used his position “to initiate and facilitate personal relationships with female employees.”

-Shame on you, AND your wife is battling cancer.

In a brief phone interview Saturday, Lewis declined to grant an interview to an AJC reporter but said, “I have not received anything that one could say is inappropriate. I have not received any money from anybody ... I have not committed a crime in any way.”
The company also gave Reid, Pope and Lewis 24 premium tickets to six Atlanta Hawks games in 2006.

-I guess the tickets for The Masters and the Hawks premium tickets just fell off a tree.

Prosecutors allege that Reid forged the signatures of three people on a scoring document for potential contractors by using a computer to scan their original signatures. By doing so, she allegedly took the $40 million project out of the hands of the highest-scoring company and gave it to Turner Construction, where she had close connections.

Soon after, Reid began soliciting and receiving expensive tickets from Turner to various sporting events for herself and Lewis, according to the indictment.

The indictment alleges that the company gave Pope tickets for the 2008 and 2009 Masters golf tournaments — some of which were used by Lewis.

-Hey Turner Construction: No more DCSS contracts for you. Ever.

For McNair, the indictment also alleges that Reid tinkered with the bidding process so her close friend, Lithonia builder David Moody, won the $12.2 million project. David Moody is not related to Cointa Moody.

It states that Reid gave inside information to her husband, whom David Moody hired to work on the project. She met with one of Moody’s staffers, suggesting a price the company should offer to build the school. She also ordered one of her staffers who was evaluating the bidders “to significantly change her score to ensure that [Moody] won the contract award,” the indictment states.

Moody has said that he was cooperating with the probe.

-Hey David Moody, no more DCSS contracts for you. Ever. And you better resign as chair of the school construction before you're kicked off in disgrace. Not sure how you don't have criminal charges against you.

Even so, Lewis appeared ready to wash his hands of Reid. While he publicly supported Reid, he trashed her to investigators and blamed the construction program mess on her.

Reid did not take it sitting down.

At the start of the investigation, she blackmailed Lewis and threatened to release the damaging information she had on him, the indictment states. She told him that she wasn’t going down alone.

-Ahh, karma. Don't forget that Crawford Lewis brought Pat Reid Pope to DCSS. And now prison is knocking on both of your doors. A mild, mild comfort to our laid off teachers and school staff.

Anonymous said...

Is it legal for a male supervisor to have an inappropriate relationship with a number of female employees and then give them promotions? It seems ambiguous on this fact if it is consensual.

When I read the indictment, much of centers around what Lewis did with female employees and paid for with a county issued P-card. When you go on vacation and spend county money, this is apparently called Theft.

Anonymous said...

If the female employees did like the indictment said and had inappropriate relationships with Lewis and received promotions based on that, should they continue in DCSS in their current position? What kind of message does that send our children? What kind of message does that send to the employees that work under them?

Anonymous said...

I just read the entire indictment.

CLew-less should be in deep doo-doo, if Gwen Keyes Fleming intends to hold him accountable. It couldn't happen to a more deserving guy!

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget our Board members in all of this. They knew that money was being set aside for a new and improved Central office however said nothing to help citizens understand it was there in the SPLOST projects. They also knew Tony Pope was a sub for contractors as it was discussed at several Board meetings.

It will be interesting to see if any of them face charges for conspiracy.

themommy said...

I think Pat Reid and Vincent Pope had to come up with this plan together.

Before Pat was hired, there was a group of parents who strenuously objected because Vincent Pope was already doing work for the school system. These parents were told over and over again that he would no longer be working for the system. It was in her employment agreement.

To me, it even appears possible that the Popes schemed this up before she even accepted (or pursued?) the job.

Dr. Lewis certainly wasn't the mastermind, but for many reasons he apparently allowed this bad behavior to continue over and over again.

Bob Fiscella said...

I have no idea how much the Board knew or didn't know, but it should be held accountable, at the very least, for being oblivious to the situation. Shameful!
As for Pat Pope - I have not forgotten the first time I met her. I can't recall a time I've been treated more rudely. It's amazing how it always seems to come back full circle!

Anonymous said...

Pat Reid [Pope] appears to be an expert in fradulent acts. I'm wondering if she has a criminal history. After reading the 127 page document, I'm convinced that she "put this plan in place." I wondered at the celebration for "classified staff of the year" at Stone Mountain Park spring 2009 how she obtained all the prizes for the "bingo" game. I also questioned how we could do an activity like that at a school function. She was a master at running the show. Included in the day activities was a free round of golf at SMP for four [she went]. She obviously loves sports. Her "concierge" activities are done. She's done. Dr. Lewis is also done! This indictment reveals wrongdoings centered around the "Popes". How much more has been illegally done by Dr. Lewis not connected with the "Popes"? I wonder. Meanwhile, folks are out of work, children are suffering. Way to "lead by example." It is time...time for a new BOE, new superintendent, new central office staff.

Anonymous said...

and still.....what about all of those who have lost their jobs due to the budgetary shortfall? Would there even be a shortfall if so much money had not been wasted with the construction fiasco, while Pope & Lewis traveled and played.

And what about the "friends & family" that still have their 6 figure salaries, while the innocent workers have been cut from the system? Is there any hope for them, or do they just all file for unemployment in July? What do they do?

Anonymous said...

The skyrocketting salaries (15-20% per annum) were obviously designed to keep everyone's morality frozen and tongues silent.

In essence, at the "cabinet-level", one serves "at the pleasure" (no pun intended here) of your supervisor.

With fresh ambition and appetite for MacMansions and SUV's wetted and wildest dreams realized, who would not look the other way?

But, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, do we want men and wonen of this ilk running a school system?

Here, I ask the citizen of Dekalb to demand accountability. Each "executive director", "director", "coordinator"----in short any one who is NOT a principal making $100 000.00 or more should be asked to account and itemize his/her "return to the education" of children!

Anonymous said...

Marcus Turk----How old is he?

He is now at a level where one would have to be at least in their 40's to have had the commensurate acumen and requisite experience to be a CFO of a 100 000 student school system unless...unless, of course, it is private family business.

Anonymous said...

"IF I DID IT..."

No way Pat Pope pushed me into it for I am too smart and too arrogant to be pushed into anything!

I am the smartest man on the planet. I am a Milken Fellow!

Pat Pope/Reid had no influence on me!!! I am my own man!!

As for the Final Four & Master's tickets, it was God who gave them to me after a full night of tantric prayer with a female subordinate with mystic powers in a hotel in the Bahamas.



Anonymous said...

CLew is the consummate bureaucrat. He was out to keep everybody happy, keep the job bank going, build an empire,and make himself look important. He pretty much succeeded. He was successful in conning the BOE who thought that he was the greatest thing since sliced whole wheat bread. He had the support of the complete administration who were (and still are) very happy with their paychecks.

Pat Reid was a great manipulator. She recognized the weakness of CLew and knew how to take advantage of it. At the very least, CLew is a bit ethically challenged since he cannot distinguish right from wrong. The purchase of the car is the prime example of this. He was ensnared by Pat who used him to her advantage.

CLew is innocent until proven guilty of the charges against him. However, at the very least, he was a lousy schools Superintendent.

Will things change? It would take a seismic shift to do this. At least four members of the BOE would be quite happy to keep things going in the old way as evidenced by their effort to raise taxes. Their mission is to keep a job bank going by taking as much as possible from the taxpayers. And, after exorbitant salaries and benefits are paid, use what is left over to educate the children.

Cerebration said...

Puh-leeze. These are the things we are expected to believe if we are to believe that Lewis is innocent -

That he accidentally pumped "premium" gas into his school-system issued car for the second or third fill up of the day and then realized his "mistake" and had a mystery man who happened to be standing there with a hose - pump it back out so that he could refill with regular.

That tickets to the masters and other sporting events just mysteriously popped into his hands - he has no idea how they got there - so enjoying his magical luck, he went ahead and used them.

That even though he charged hotel rooms used for personal vacations and other "non-school-related business" to his school system credit card - after being told by the system CFO that "if" he did that, it would be illegal - he did nothing wrong.

That he approved and signed off on contracts that blatantly gave work to the husband of his COO of construction, circumventing board approval, knowing that this violated the stated promise to the public regarding his COO's contract stating that the husband could only finish current work and then could have no more school system work.

I guess he'd rather have us think he's hillbilly dumb than go to jail.

Anonymous said...

"At least four members of the BOE would be quite happy to keep things going in the old way as evidenced by their effort to raise taxes. Their mission is to keep a job bank going by taking as much as possible from the taxpayers. And, after exorbitant salaries and benefits are paid, use what is left over to educate the children. "

Similar to a charity who collects for a worthy cause and then spends 90% of the money on administration leaving little for the cause that everyone thought they were donating their money too. Meanwhile, the administration is doing very well and whatever trickles down gets to the "worthy cause" people.

Teaching Science in DCSS said...

If you knew/worked with Dr. Lewis--as I did--you couldn't escape the impression that his main "strength" was force of personality, not intellectual prowess or analytical keenness. The strong personality allowed him to silence opposition with a look and rise to the top in a community where image counts for a great deal. The room fell silent when he walked into it. And, his close relationship with Bishop Eddie Long didn't hurt his ability to intimidate many of his supporters.

The big mistake, though, despite his lack of proven abilities, would be to let his image as a clueless, feckless leader (background as a PE teacher, and just what subject, exactly, was that PhD in?!) overshadow the corruption that went on under his watch. It is unlikely that Dr. Lewis acted alone, and Marcus Turk's feet also need to be held to the fire--assumedly, any illegal payments that were made, went through him. The Human Resources dept, too, needs to be investigated--Jamie Wilson, a nice young fellow, seems completely out of his element, and the decision-making in past and future firings should be carefully scrutinized. What was his experience before he got this job?

All of us who work in DCSS have been told that next year will be MUCH worse than 2009-2010. This is a big sword to hang over our heads and amounts to a threat, in the eyes of some. Please, parents, take the lead in investigating the corruption in our school system! We perhaps haven’t described enough how negatively these events affect us teachers and our abilities to do our jobs well. Overcrowded classes, poor administrative back-up because so many “favorites” are principals or AP’s, insufficient facilities and supplies (hoarding copy paper is common), and dangerous laboratory conditions, not only demoralize us, they also endanger children. But beyond that, consider working under the constant threat of firing without knowing the basis for firing. The Administration has refused to provide its rationale for the teacher layoffs this year, leaving the remaining employees looking forward to a "reign of terror" next year.

This is not the climate we, or you, want in which to educate kids. Some of us can remember when teaching and learning were, overall, a fun, even joyous, experience. Little kids had naps and recess: bigger kids studied, came to class on time, raised their hands to speak, and didn’t use profanity in school without treat of dire consequences. Remember those days? Kids came home from school saying "Guess what we did today!"

It’s not impossible to get back to a climate of respect for learning, but it will require, first and foremost, getting rid of corrupt, lazy administrators, including principals who have given up or just stopped trying, and teachers who have done the same. If layoffs are to take place, though, teachers deserve to be informed in a timely manner about the rationale for firing. This protracted agony must end, because it's distracting us all from our core mission. For the last several months of school, the only topic of interest was “have you heard anything?”. Most of the firings took place in the last few weeks of school, when we were too shell-shocked to demand explanations. We can’t take another year like that—nor should we, as respected employees, have to.

Anonymous said...

There is no budget shortfall.

We have less than before, but a "shortfall" means you don't have enough to do the job you are tasked with. We have enough. We have more than enough. We have once again lost focus. Let the DA and the justice system handle the conspirators and their pitiful excuses given for their behavior. We must focus on how this county is being run NOW, not in the past years. We must keep our focus on the B.O.E. and the current administration.

To Bob Fiscella, you commented on how rudely Pat Pope treated you. My observation has been that people who are insecure because they have not earned their place in life are often rude to those who have worked for their success. They have contempt for the sucker who actually remains honest in this world. It is unfortunate that there seem to be so many of these types in the DeKalb system. How do they get their positions?

Anonymous said...

Cere (11:37)--
Like I said, he's going for the "don't blame me, I'm stupid" defense--and at the same time feigning outrage at Gwen Keyes for allegedly calling him stupid. I guess when you have nothing else, you go for pity as a defense.
Anon (7:04)--
Like I said, the BOE's defense seems to be "we can't be blamed. We were negligent in our oversight and these things just happened." It remains to be seen if playing the race card will oversome that negative in the fall campaign.

Paula Caldarella said...

Ignorance is not a defense in a criminal case - especially when one's signature is on the contracts.

And these BOE members need to start explaining why they just "rubber-stamped" everything that Lewis/Pope brought forward.

Anonymous said...

"My observation has been that people who are insecure because they have not earned their place in life are often rude to those who have worked for their success. They have contempt for the sucker who actually remains honest in this world. It is unfortunate that there seem to be so many of these types in the DeKalb system. How do they get their positions?"

Well said, 5/31 12:05. A friend lost a job due to the scenario above. This friend was totally blindsided, and the ones around who could have (should have) helped were blindsided as well. Support for my friend was quickly silenced. Fear (self preservation) can do that, you know. When people are corrupt, they will go to any lengths ....

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 1:11 PM and Anonymous 12:05 PM

I wonder if we may have the same friend? This person was an excellent employee in a demanding, professional job. A possible "Friends-and-Family" member was hired to fill the spot. No one else was allowed to apply.

The principal shut down any show of support with the threat of "insubordination." The principal called it a "personnel" matter when really it was a "personal" matter.

Lewis and his sleazy, scuzzy, sorry, completely corrupt complement of cronies were behind it in collusion with a principal of the same ilk.

You know who you are. You're next! But this time, the charges will be federal, I hope. I can't think of a more deserving group! Will things go easier for you if you just resign now and admit complicity? You've got to ask yourself one question, "Do I feel lucky?"

Cerebration said...

The AJC brings us the tally --
DeKalb indictments box

Wednesday's indictments charged Tony Pope with fraudulently taking money from four school building projects in the DeKalb County school system. How much did each project bring him?

Columbia High: $1.122 million

McNair: $193,217

Mountain Industrial: $1.075 million

Total: $2.391 million

Cerebration said...

And from this article -

Former DeKalb schools chief, three others indicted

A grand jury returned indictments on Lewis, Reid, also known as Pat Pope, her former husband Tony Pope and her secretary Cointa Moody.

“It’s hard for us to assess the full dollar amount, but Tony Pope made over $2 million,” Fleming said. “More than $80 million in contracts were all obtained through some type of fraud.”

Much of that money went to construction companies where Reid and Pope had connections, but no one from those firms were charged.

All four were either arrested by or turned themselves into sheriff’s deputies by Wednesday evening.

Lewis was booked into the DeKalb jail just before 8 p.m. Wednesday and was released on $200,000 bond about 90 minutes later.

Reid and Pope remained jailed Thursday morning, with bond set at $1 million each, according to jail records. Moody was being held Thursday on $200,000 bond.

The indictment includes the following:

Four counts of violating the racketeer influenced and corruption act against Lewis, Reid, Pope and Moody.

One count of theft by a government employee against Lewis, Reid and Moody.

One count of bribery against Lewis and Reid.

One count of falsifying public documents against Reid.

Lewis, 56, faces a maximum of 105 years in prison.

Reid, 52, faces up to 115 years in prison, investigators said. . . .

According to investigators, the scheme had begun in 2006 and involved the three school officials concealing information from the school board, altering documents and giving work to Pope’s architectural firm.

“All of the parties used their positions and the resources of school system to facilitate theft, fraud and obstruction, whether for personal gain or for the benefit of others,” Fleming said. “The money received by Tony Pope was then funneled to Pat Pope.” . . .

When she was hired, the couple was told he could complete one on-going school construction contract but could not work on any additional school projects, Fleming said.

But Lewis and Reid ignored that stipulation, the indictment alleges. The two, along with secretary Moody, 48, conspired to get Pope contracts. This was accomplished by issuing illegal change orders, altering construction projects and leaking information to Pope, all behind the school board’s back, Fleming said.

Those projects included work on Columbia High School, Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy, Arabia Mountain High School and the Mountain Industrial Complex.

For the Arabia Mountain project, Reid forged the signatures of several members of a bid selection committee to steer the work to her husband, Fleming said.

Pope also collected money by working as a subcontractor for the McNair project, investigators said. . . .

Click the link above to get all the details...

Anonymous said...

If, as alleged, Dr. Lewis exchanged sexual favors for promotions, raises, etc., this is quid pro quo. It is a violation of the State Code of Ethics for Teachers. Dr. Lewis can and should lose his teaching certificate for this activity. The same goes for any other school employee who dabbles in this type of activity. If you know about it and can prove it or are a victim, you should report it. State Dept. of Ed, Professional Standards Committee can revoke a teaching certificate for cause. There is a really nice (long) video on the PDS website (video on demand) on this code of ethics for anyone who is interested.

Anonymous said...

Working under reid was pure hell and no one in internal affairs would listen. Lewis knew it, he even told ms. keys that she could not get along with her staff at the sam moss center. Several people lost there jobs. If for any reason you question anything, You could be sure you were gone and hr went along with it. When you would meet her in the hall she would turn her head to keep from looking at you. We have always had a kitchen where you could warm your food, she had the eyes taken off the stove. The r/r on the lower hall was under construction her idea. She would not let the people come through the warehouse to used the other one they had to walk in the cold, rain to use the one on the upper hall.

The second xmas that she was there she had a xmas diner at the marriott for the staff. Where did that money come from and the next year she had it at atlantic station. There were several board members at the marriott including ms. edwards. Don't know about the other as a large number of us did not attend.

We had a young man loose his life on the job. I can remember it like yesterday how she came in the room with her cronies behind her with her fake tears saying how much she care about us. Bull with in minutes she was back to her cold arrogant ways. I think her heart is made of stone. There are many, many things this lady has done since she came to dekalb and no one at the central office would listen. They all are in this and i pray that things will change. I also pray for all those people at the sam moss center that lost there jobs.

Anonymous said...

"We had a young man loose his life on the job. I can remember it like yesterday how she came in the room with her cronies behind her with her fake tears saying how much she care about us...."
I was told that Pope was prepared to tell how the young man had not followed proper procedures which led to his accident. Jennifer Errion advised her not to do this.

Cerebration said...

I'm very sorry about the loss of your colleague.

One point you made caught my eye - did you say that Ms Reid had a STAFF Christmas party and Ms Edwards attended? That is fascinating.

Anonymous said...

Please, parents, take the lead in investigating the corruption in our school system! We perhaps haven’t described enough how negatively these events affect us teachers and our abilities to do our jobs well. Overcrowded classes, poor administrative back-up because so many “favorites” are principals or AP’s, insufficient facilities and supplies (hoarding copy paper is common), and dangerous laboratory conditions, not only demoralize us, they also endanger children. But beyond that, consider working under the constant threat of firing without knowing the basis for firing. The Administration has refused to provide its rationale for the teacher layoffs this year, leaving the remaining employees looking forward to a "reign of terror" next year.

This is not the climate we, or you, want in which to educate kids. Some of us can remember when teaching and learning were, overall, a fun, even joyous, experience. Little kids had naps and recess: bigger kids studied, came to class on time, raised their hands to speak, and didn’t use profanity in school without treat of dire consequences. Remember those days? Kids came home from school saying "Guess what we did today!"

As a teacher who retired from Dekalb I can assure you this is nothing new.

I also have always heard there is one fast way to work yourself up to the top at the administrative office as a female. The bus barn and the Sam Moss center are the best place in the world to hear all the good gossip in the county. If you want to know something just ask the bus drivers. They are aware of who is friendly with who at the county office. I always just turned an ear to all the gossip. But maybe there is some truth to all the gossip. According to the gossip this has been a pattern of school superintendents. Apparently Brown was not into this kind of behavior and he just did not fit into the Dekalb County School System. He was too straight.

Anonymous said...

Our school system is not going to improve unless severe measures are taken to get rid of the administration at all levels of the system. I think that the new superintendent should fire everyone and make everyone interview for their jobs. The corruption runs deep and many have gotten their jobs because of who they know, not what they know.

Many principals are not doing their job because they are afraid of the administrators above them. This is harming the education that is able to take place in the classrooms.

Parents do need to rise up and demand better for their children. This can easily be done with better administrators and a smaller central office. We also need to use the Title One money more effectively to help the education of our children.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 5:08

Don't be so sure of Dr. Brown. The word on the street is that he brought his "special friend" from B'ham with him to DeKalb. Power is very attractive to some.

Anonymous said...

Over the years there have been a large number broken marriages in the system. Also if a man is in a high position then his wife, mistress and the children are also. Friends and family

Roger Matic said...

Dekalb County use to be a great place to work. Currently, every job listed has been filled by a sorority member or fraternity brother regardless of their qualifications. They wear certain colors on spirit days and during Black History months, this time is used for a step show to see which sorority or fraternity can step the best. Can you believe this? Jobs for the common individual not within these donot exist. You must be a member of a certain sorority (pink and green) to be a principal in DCSS. Check it out in the county office and the schools. Or be related to certain people in the county office. And donot make anyone of these ladies upset, you will never hold an office.

Anonymous said...

You are correct. Many are pledging to wear pink and green only to move up in DCSS. I went into a principal's office and it was so full of pink and green and sorority paraphanelia that I felt so uncomfortable. When she found that I was not interested in a sorority, her entire attitude changed. While a few others hold central office positions, take a survey and you will see when one moves out of a high level position, another moves into it.

Anonymous said...

Pat's is a joke. Ok let me tell you how is done. Very few people get jobs off pat's. The job is posted 99% of the time they already know who is going to get the job, So they let all these people come in for a interview knowing that they already know who is geting the job. I have known people who went to interviews all over the county and they are still siting in the same place.

This is what happen when there was a job for a lead plumber. The manager gave his friend the answers to the question and well he made 100. He could not even read that well. This goes on all over the county. A principal's sister-in law got a admin assistant job and she never pass the typeing test. Friends and Family again there are so many stories that need to be told maybe now people will come forward.

Anonymous said...

I am soooo glad some of us have figured out that PAT's is a joke. Let's look at the once Alpha Cohort. LOL. Take your key chain in and hope that your colors matches one of the interviewers. If so, BINGO, you're in for an administrators' job even if you are not qualified.These female administrators in DCSS are a joke and very vindictive if you get on their bad list. And no one in the county office will address them especially if their key change matches their colors. So why waste your time getting advanced degrees, they have someone in mind even if your qualifications exceeds their frats or sorority sister degrees. Take a survey if you donot believe us.

Anonymous said...

How can a top official leave the DCSS and then return to start up a charter school? Only in America.
I bet the entire staff top to bottom is pink and green. Take a survey and I win!
Are we in England with the Royal Court or what?

Anonymous said...

many female principals are in charge because of Dr. Lewis. Which sorority is Miss Pope a member of?

Anonymous said...

I am just curious ... in addition to Alpha Kappa Alpha and Deltas, do Links, Jack and Jill, and Boule also play a role in getting ahead in DCSS? What about 100 Black Men?

For the "uninitiated", so to speak, you may find this book to be eye-opening:

Anonymous said...

Which fraternity is Mr. Pope and Mr. Moody? Are they all connected by the same key chain? You know the word on the street is purple and gold or black and gold. Sometimes red and white.

Anonymous said...

Curious, of course, you are so correct. We forgot the Links, Jack and Jill, 100Black Men. And we wonder and fuss about the scores on the north end of the county. I bet you will never walk into a office on the northern end of the county and see frogs, ducks, dogs,etc . More than likely, one will see test scores or children learning and not stepping. Or, administrators walking around with greek colors as if they in a Greek shop. And we wonder about making AYP on the south end ? Our administrators are still living out when they were in college.Sad but true.

Anonymous said...

Isn't Lewis' lawyer a member of the 100 Black Men? I heard that he mentors children who take part in 100 Black Men's activities.

Wouldn't this be a conflict of interest?

Cerebration said...

Someone once posted here that 100 Black Men keep their offices at McNair High School (for free). Anyone know if this is true?

Anonymous said...

I wonder where reid went to school and if she even has a degree. You know that some of the information on her application was found not to be true. I understand that lewis cover for her and she did not have to answer question,when she was being question she would say she didn't remember. We were told by Dr. pritchett when he was leaving that she was a friend of his and that he had known her for a long time. He said that she would do a great job. I must say she did a great job and now the school system is in the biggest mess ever.

She came into that building geting rid of people and bringing in her people and telling us that she wanted that building to be like the corporate world. We no longer worked under board policy but pope policy.

Wonder who will turn on who before this is over.

Anonymous said...

Something doesn't click between the two AJC articles.
One has the DA saying he was "pushed into it" and emphasizss that he was duped ( a characterization).
The other one has the DA's indictment saying he can go away for 105 years.

People, a guy who was duped won't go away for a year, much less 105.
Something's not right--and we are being set up for a sham trial in Lewis' case, where he'll serve a year at most.

Begging the question--what is he (has he) done with the DA to get off easy?

Anonymous said...

I have seen grown men still wearing there class rings. I don't even know where my ring is. Oh don't forget about the car tags. It used to be that when you became a principal you had to get a mercedes benz. They are all sick

Anonymous said...

That is somehting we must all watch. Lewis should do just has much time as she does. If for nothing else just being stupid.

Anonymous said...

If you google the address for 100 Black Men of DeKalb, McNair High School appears.

A former BOE member gave some parents this information. Apparently, they use a couple of classrooms as offices, they use DCSS equipment for web updates and they use DCSS video equipment that the High School should be using.

I think it's very urgent for our BOE to answer the question. Why is a non-profit runing an operation inside a taxpayer funded facility? Why has it taken almost 2 years for this to be addressed? What are you trying to hide?

Time for change at DCSS. Everyone must go! Please folks if you are not an elected BOE official and work for the Central Office, the taxpayers expect you to resign and an independent review will take place whether to hire you or not. Kind of like when a new Rector is hired at an Episcopal church.

These people MUST go for the taxpayers to regain the trust of the district.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 12:50 AM

"Something doesn't click between the 2 AJC articles ..."

Exactly! CLew-less is a friend of Gwen Keyes Fleming. They may have been in the same Leadership DeKalb class. At any rate, it too Fleming way too long to decide to go after CLew-less. Maybe because she had to figure out how to do it in a way that would ultimately let him off.

Consider these points:

(1)It was very strange that Fleming did not call in a DA from another county, where there would be no conflict of interest, to investigate this hot mess that extends through layers of DCSS administrators.

(2) In the middle of all this -- missing deadline after deadline -- Fleming took off to handle a DA's job in another county because of a conflict of interest in that county. Why? GA has more than 150 counties (and DAs) to choose from.

(3) The raids seemed timed for maximum press coverage (no problem with this) -- and advance information on the raids appeared to have been given to people way out of law enforcement -- like Annette Jackson (big problem with this).

(4) If Fleming truly wants hard evidence, there are several things she could do:

(a) Publicize a confidential and SAFE place to provide hard evidence or partial evidence with an assurance that it will be investigated.

(b) Legally obtain the IP addresses of the posters on this blog and others who write about first-hand knowledge of DCSS wrongdoing -- then make direct contact with those people. Subpeona them if necessary. (Surely someone on Fleming's staff is reading this blog daily. If not, well, then ...)

(5) The bail for Crawford Lewis was set incredibly low compared to the initial bail set for Pope and Reid. It was still half of the final bail for Pope and Reid. Lewis spent NO time in jail, either. As far as I know he also was not required to turn over his passport. That suggests to me that Fleming has a plan to save her buddy, allow him to work with the prosecution and get off scot-free.

Really -- I think the place for hard evidence is to hand it over to the FBI. Neither the FBI (who investigates for the US Attorney) nor Sally Yates, the U.S. Attorney, is beholden to the many small-time politicians and big-time crooks who populate DeKalb County and DCSS -- and have helped Fleming win elections.

anotherdekalbscienceteacher said...

Anonymous 12:15 stated
"Isn't Lewis' lawyer a member of the 100 Black Men? I heard that he mentors children who take part in 100 Black Men's activities.

Wouldn't this be a conflict of interest?"

He's not listed on the web site....but I noticed that there were only 97 men listed.....

Paula Caldarella said...

Lewis' attorney is Michael Brown of Alston and Bird. He looks Caucasian to me.

Anonymous said...

You are correct about the car tags. What about in the offices? You will see; green frogs, elephants, dogs, and you name it. If you look too long, these administrators on the south end will show you an office full of Greek para. Donot leave out the key chains around their necks.When one retires, they move another key chain wearer with the same colors into their job. Most times, the jobs are only posted for formality. Teachers walk around celebrating proudly when they know that one of their own key chain colors members is in charge. No work or instruction will get done!
Visit administrators on the northern end of DCSS and you will not see any indication of what fraternity or sorority these people are members of. The south end of DCSS is about which frat pr sorority you are a member of.100 Black Men is now on the rise and what big church you attend. Frankie Calloway hired all of her pink and green club sisters to positions of administrators and the chain needs to stop. Next, she hired her entire family which needs to be stopped.Taxpayers, private citizens, the next time you're in a school, check out the colors that you see teachers parading around. Then ask yourself, are the children learning? The answer on the south end is NO.
Or next administration should be common people with no favors to repay, no sorority ties/frat ties, but a common goal like Gwinnett County, to teach our children. Favortism in Dekalb County has lead us to our leaders being jailed. i bet Pat Reid wear pink and green. i bet Crawford and Pope are members of the same 100 Black Men or frat. Of course, David Moody is purple and goal. Administrators, do yo still not see the problems on the south end. i bet not. We are just glad to be a member or belong to something that we fill others cannot join,Ha!

Anonymous said...

Since the issue of money is on our minds, did internal affairs find out about how much money our authors made on company time selling their books? (Simp and Butler)
Taxpayers, Butler has ripped our county off big time with her cookbooks that were sold during instructional time. Traveling out ot state promoting her cookbooks using teacher lesson plans, using students on the cover of her books, using DCSS lunchroom to prepare her cookies, and family turkeys,giving speeches during instructional time. If you get a chance, tune in to her interview on the Martha Stewart show where she is preparing chicken salad.Listen closely to the questions that Martha Stewart asked her. Then go back and look through Open Records and i bet she is on DCSS time.She has made thousands selling cookbooks while at work on DCSS time. Years ago, she beat the system staff, parents, students, and taxpayers out of money by promoting an Arts Gala. So, if we are questioning the money that Pat, Crawford, Tony, and Moody are involved in, then let us ask questions here also. Trust me, Dr. Simpson and the other principal's ordeal about books is a piece of cake compared to how Butler lured and did business while on your school time. Then, the board promoted her to a wellness director instead of being in charge of a lunchroom.i bet she is on a book tour instead of being up in internal affairs with an special auditor.

Anonymous said...

Maybe all of these female adminstrators in DCSS that Dr. Lewis gave principal positions to, can now come together and visit him in jail. Remmember that's what friends are for. Come on ladies, you know who you are. Don't be scared.

Anonymous said...

Now we have retired principals who kept up confusion in their schools going around mentoring new principals. i bet they are on the list; pink and green. do a survey-i win. Can you believe this??
A waste of taxpayers money.

Anonymous said...

Following is part of a comment posted on the Clayton County Blog 2 years ago. Given some of the conversation recently has focused on fraternal/sorority affiliations along with 'who you know' to get ahead, it seemed somewhat appropriate. You can determine if there is any truth to this...

There seems to be very little residents can do at this stage. My grandmother, who still lives in the Riverdale home in which my mother grew up, has been trying to sell for years. She’ll never get the appropriate value for the property, and that’s a shame. I know she isn’t alone. My parents moved to Henry when I was still in high school back in the early 90s (I was able to continue at LHS because my mother taught in Clayton County), and while I don’t philosophically agree with “white flight,” I can’t deny that their house has increased in value while my grandmother’s has lost more than 2/3 of its value.

Seems to me that some of this is inevitable. Some people are going to get very angry at what I’m about to say, and I’m okay with that.

The city of Atlanta certainly suffered growing pains during the movement away from a “good ol’ boy” system of white male “rule” as minorities began to get power.

The “good ol’ boys” had their faults. There was a certain amount of corruption and subtle nepotism that goes along with a system like that; hiring was based on “feelings” that so-and-so was a “good guy,” meaning the guy looked like them, had a similar education, and played golf with a decent handicap. It’s not right to base hiring decisions on those kinds of criteria, but it did produce an efficient system where the people running it understood and mentored each other. Ultimately, that kind of system has to go—and that’s true on a national level as well as right here locally.

So an influx of minorities threw out the good ol’ boys. This is tricky, because a lot of the good ol’ boys, whatever else they are, have had the education and mentoring to be good at their jobs. Nonetheless, the new guard—who hasn’t had the benefit of the mentoring or the on-the-job education or the informal golf sessions where you learn the unspoken parts of the jobs—comes in and the stage is set for a clash.

You get your Victor Hill in, and he rather awkwardly cleans out the good ol’ boy system—but he does it by ignoring civil service conventions and protections, and voila, a giant lawsuit occurs that probably baffled the man. You get your new school board in, and they have the best of intentions but not the best of experience, education, and again, the mentoring that enables them to know the Rules of Order (or, sometimes, the rules of law!).

New folks come in from outside the system, but they don’t understand the system in the way the old guard did. They chafe against the rules, because they don’t fully understand why the rules are there. They think that now they’ve been elected, they can do whatever they want. Public office just doesn’t work that way, though.

The new guard isn’t totally off-the-hook. By all accounts, the board has been offered (and in some cases has even had) training in the responsibilities of board members—but they haven’t always risen to that challenge.

In addition, the good ol’ boys often enriched themselves from the public trough, so to speak, and the new guard wants a piece of that, too. The problem is that the good ol’ boys knew how to hide their tracks and handle those things in private smoky rooms (a stereotype rooted in truth)… and the new guard doesn’t know the routine, how to hide their shady dealings and avoid any appearance of graft or incompetence.

It’s tough. This minefield is loaded with racial, class, and generational bombs.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:11: "Visit administrators on the northern end of DCSS and you will not see any indication of what fraternity or sorority these people are members of. The south end of DCSS is about which frat pr sorority you are a member of."

I don't know how much hyperbole is involved here, but it does raise an interesting point--that one route to improving schools in the south end is not to keep playing the 'north vs. south' game but for the current BOE representation for the south end to get retirement this fall.

Anonymous said...

Are the CRCT scores out yet? i bet the north end outscored the south end of the county.
The north end of the county administrators pledged in college. The south end of the county administrators are still happy just to belong to an organization.
Children come last, wearing the right colors, and showing them on your car, and in your office comes first on the south end. sad but true.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 11:54
I have to disagree that the "good ol' boys" network was all that efficient.

I think Lewis was mentored by Freeman and in particular Hallford. They are the ones who promoted him.

Consider this:
Hallford established 16 area superintendents each with their own very highly paid content coordinators and Assistant Principal coordinator, secretary, etc. Each area superintendent was supposed to be accountable for his/her own area. The trouble was they kept switching schools in and out of areas and then he started switching area superintendents out of areas (into new made up positions) and appointing new area superintendents, etc. No one was ever in the position long enough to be accountable (sound familiar?).

The Central Office zoomed overnight. Teachers were so excited to get these lucrative jobs. The pay was more than they ever thought they would make in education. Some did complain that all they ever did was meet, meet and meet some more – but the money was great.

Within a few years of musical chairs, this reporting system was discontinued due to a budget crunch. I seem to remember they let 200 parapros go and I mentally calculated that the budget for these by now reduced in number teams far outweighed the salaries of the 200 parapros (sound familiar?).

The members of the “teams” were so worried – they might be sent back to teach with a teacher’s salary. One I knew took an Assistant Principal position in anticipation that she needed to grab something that was available while the gettin’ was good. She need not have worried. By then alliances had been formed, and power centers had been established. The Central Office was reorganized and all of the coordinator and administrative support personnel were saved. They were quietly absorbed back into the money pit the Central Office had become.

This huge increase in non-teaching personnel became apparent during the recession of the early 2000’s (2002-03) much like this Great Recession has laid bare our current overstaffing and overpayment of non-teaching jobs.

This is what Johnny Brown tried to address in the form of an independent audit by Ernst and Young which concluded that over 2,500 non-teaching personnel were being overpaid by $14,800,000 a year and was presented to the BOE spring, 2004. Since Freeman and and Hallford were the ones who had increased these non-teaching personnel, we can lay that squarely at their doorstep.

Johnny Brown was moved out within a few months of the audit presentation to the BOE, and Lewis came in. Lewis disputed the independent audit’s conclusions saying only $1,800,000 in annual overpayments were being eaten by the taxpayers. He didn’t think it was fair to do any adjustments so the audit and thus Dr. Brown’s efforts were for naught.

Anonymous said...

Schools have CRCT scores for the classes, but do not have the individual score sheets that parents receive. I hope that the scores are made public soon.

Paula Caldarella said...

Aren't the individual scores supposed to be sent with the Report Cards, which were supposed to be mailed Friday.

Anonymous said...

Teachers can now hope that all of this is out in the open,DCSS can find a new leader, new administrators, and a board that is interested in children. DCSS, please: stop hiring your cousins, sorority members,incompetent children, frat brothers, mason brothers, but individuals that are qualified.
Fill the vacanicies with honest people, not tyrannt leaders like some that are retiring, but individuals who can relate to people with no motive and see others views and not take the word of administrators when problems occur, but look at the whole picture. Area directors need to understand that some principals/assistants are incompetent and were given their jobs by others in the county.This is how our county became corrupt too.

Anonymous said...

Our report cards went home with the children the last day of school. The schools do not have the individual reports to give out, as of last week. They are not expected to receive them until mid-June.

Paula Caldarella said...

How do you send report cards home the last day of school?

Anonymous said...

Hey, let's compile a family administrator list using it as Open Records to see who is related to who in the DCSS. Then, let us examine each school and see how many females are linked by sororites. Next, let's look at Frats, and Churches.
Last, compare your list to the adminstrators on the northern end of DCSS. Oh, donot forget to check out teachers affiliations.
Let me suggest this: Remove the part that ask you to list organizations that you belong to on PAT's.Leave all key chains, and greek para out of your interviews, allow men to sit on the panels when interviewing candidates. Allow the person being interviewed to see his or her scores and comments from the interview. I bet this would eliminate some of this friend/family hiring each other mess.

Anonymous said...

A longer version of this was posted under the questions and comments thread.
Who knows what mega church many of the DCSS front office attends?
Did the same persons attending said church receive large raises since the Lewis take over?
Is automatic tithing required at said large church, like how it is handled at Creflo
Dollar's church?
As an example, a higher up that made 118K a few years ago would be tithing 11,800 yearly at
10%. If their salary increased to say, 166k, then the yearly tithe would have increased to 16,600. Even after the tithe, their yearly income would be 150k vs roughly 102k.
Anyone know which church? Is automatic tithing required there? Does the list of large pay increases at the front office read like a church elder's directory?
Enquiring minds need to know.

Anonymous said...

Dunwoody Mom.

That had to have been an elementary person that posted that comment. Elementary schools closed out there grading on the May 14.

Anonymous said...

Dunwoody Mom,

My grades were to be posted by Friday, May 14th. We fixed any errors and had the final report cards on Wednesday, May 19th. The final report cards were sent home on the final day of school(May 21). I work in an elementary school, so maybe it was different for the high schools and middle schools.

Paula Caldarella said...

I was using my MS/HS "mom" brain. Exams for those were the last 2 days of school, so I could not imagine how that occurred. Makes sense to me now - sorry.

Anonymous said...

This is something that i think ms. keys might want to know. I am not sure just how it works. At the sam moss center I used to see the staff services manager takeing in a large amount of checks for people using different schools for none school events. My question is where did that money go. She and reid were very close at one time. She ran her off also. At any rate is this something the system does and if so where does the money go? If someone knows let me know before i call ms. keys.

Anonymous said...

everyone is talking about the way the DCSS is running. But i no one is coming up with any solution. Why are people blaming the current board members? As a community we need to come together and make sure that we are doing what is best for our children. We must remember that each person only have one vote. We have 4 Democrat and 6 Republican and the republican are pushing there agenda. Mr. Womack do not want any African American over the north side of town. We have Pam who is black, however she have never voted for anything that will help the south side of Dekalb. For years we have white individual who have been running the Dekalb county school board and they were doing what ever they want to do without complaining. For example Mr. Womack when he was on the board he and his wife was selling insurance to everyone that work for the school system. we had the superintendent who was sell house to the teacher. And a lot more things were going on and no one was saying anything about that. Now we have Mr. Tom bowen who work for HP who have one of the biggest account with the school system and people have no issue with that. We have a small business who owner who have been work with the students in Dekalb for years before he got on the board I know that because the restaurant gave my daughter a scholarship for school and now they are writing an article about him say that he is doing something wrong. My daughter and my son have been on the honor roll for years and they always look forward for that free pizza at the end of the semester those are some of the incentive what Zo's restaurant do. Which other company is doing that for our community. Let be for real its not about our children is always about who have the power. And the AJC want to control what people think that why they print so much bad article about DCSS. If they really wanted to help with our school then they would not have been printing so much bad articles. We need to stop buying there newspaper. And send them a message.

Be True to Your School said...

@ anonymous, 5:18 AM

Your audacity is astounding!

If you have specific documentation to back up the accusations you make, then state it clearly and be quick about it. Otherwise, you are merely a very small, distasteful person spreading rumor.

Your rant is rife with rumor and innuendo and has absolutely no credibility whatsoever.

I personally am fed up with the likes of you and your ilk. I am normally colorblind to race, but all of you who play the race card at every opportunity make it harder and harder to be that way.

"As a community we need to come together ... " Community? What community are you talking about? The community where the south part of DeKalb constantly bashes the north part of DeKalb because our parents are, for the most part, well-educated, deeply involved with their children's education and committed to making lemonade out of lemons.

DCSS was under 20 years of federal court supervision for not having "sufficiently" integrated schools. During those 20 years, the federal courts did not allow re-districting or building new schools anywhere in DeKalb, regardless of need. That's the reason for overcrowding in South DeKalb schools and why most SPLOST money has gone to South DeKalb.

M-to-M transfers and magnet schools (with busing provided for both as directed by the federal court) were also the result of federal court supervision. At one point, DCSS had a larger bus system than MARTA.

Busing and no re-districting has been the order of things for so long that people now see this as an entitlement. Especially in South DeKalb, there seems to be no will to improve local schools when DCSS will pay for transportation to send your students to North DeKalb schools.

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) was signed into law on January 8, 2002; it is the current name for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) passed in 1965. ESEA comprises nine titles and over 50 different programs, the largest of which is known as Title I. Title I supports school districts educating low-income students through federal funds and programs, and includes many opportunities for parent and community involvement. More than 4 generations of Title I and other entitlements. Why are South DeKalb schools, for the most part, still unable to reach AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress)?

Regarding the AJC -- I am not sure you are fully cognizant of the concept of a free press, guaranteed by the Bill of Rights (an early "entitlement" program). It's about time the AJC began reporting on what is really going on in DCSS.

You are right about one thing, Anonymous 5:18 AM: "Let be for real its not about our children is always about who have the power." [sic] Take a look at who has the power in DCSS, Anonymous 5:18 AM. Do they look and sound a lot like you?