Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Superintendent Lewis, Pat Pope and others indicted

From Fox 5 this evening

Crawford Lewis, three others face charges

Updated: Wednesday, 26 May 2010, 10:37 PM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 26 May 2010, 4:56 PM EDT


DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - Former DeKalb County Schools superintendent Crawford Lewis was among four people indicted Wednesday on racketeering and theft charges after an investigation into school construction contracts.

District Attorney Gwen Keyes announced the indictment against Lewis and three others, including former schools chief operating officer Patricia Reid, her former husband Anthony Pope, and Cointa Moody, Reid’s former secretary. Keyes presented a 50-page long Powerpoint presentation summarizing the indictment, which was approximately 1,000 pages long.

The indictment lists approximately $2.3 million in fraudulently-received school funds, and possibly $80 million in illegal fraud as a part of the scheme allegedly conducted by the four. It’s not clear how long the alleged scheme when on before it was discovered.


And earlier -

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- Channel 2 Action News has learned a DeKalb County grand jury has indicted 4 people, including former school Superintendant Crawford Lewis, on racketeering and other charges in connection with the district attorney's investigation into school construction contracts.

In addition to Lewis, the indicted named Pat Reid (formerly Pope), her ex-husband Tony Pope and Reid’s former secretary Cointa Moody. Reid was formerly DeKalb School's chief operating officer and oversaw the system’s massive school construction program.

Tony Pope, Reid's ex-husband, is an architect who has done work for the system.

The district attorney's office has called a 4:30 p.m. news conference.

A team of Channel 2 reporters is working this story right now and will provide more information as the story develops.

Stay tuned to Channel 2 Action News at 5 and refresh this story on for more breaking developments.


Here's a link to the AJC's report on the subject.

Former DeKalb schools' chief indicted


DCSS Press Conference


To download the entire indictment click this in-depth article at Atlanta Unfiltered.


To download the Powerpoint Presentation the DA used for the press conference, click here and then click the link at the end of the article.


Download the indictment here:
Crawford Lewis DeKalb RICO Indictment


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Anonymous said...

about time....

Anonymous said...

what a shame that they waited this long....maybe justice will be served

Mebbe He Was Framed said...

"Say it aint' so, C Lew. Say it aint so."

DCSS BoE Accountability said...

Wow. I'm shocked -- SHOCKED!!! -- that the man this Board of Education gave a RAISE and a CONTRACT EXTENTION to in January just got INDICTED in May.

Way to go, DCSS BoE! Way to go! You guys are doing a heck of a job!

Anonymous said...

...and high fives abound in the law offices representing Heery/Mitchell.

Anonymous said...

But our BOE rep was adamant that Lewis was set up, and is innocent. I guess he will go down to the DA's office and demand that this miscarriage of justice be remedied...

Anonymous said...

Crawford faces six counts: four racketeering (RICO) charges , theft by a government employee and bribery.

Patricia Reid faces seven counts: four racketeering charges, theft by a government employee, bribery, false public document

Tony Pope and secretary Cointa Moody each face four RICO counts.

Ella Smith said...

I think the information that finally comes out will be shocking about what possible happened behind closed doors in our superintendent's office. I hope it all is not true.

Anonymous said...

I'm so disappointed because I had positive interactions with Ms. Pope and Mr. Lewis. I understand this news had to unfold. I'm hoping our BOE will have a better system in hiring our new decision makers for DCSS. We need an amazing leader to help the school system and the kids have the best education. Good Luck to the BOE!

No Duh said...

Theft? But he gave the gas

Cerebration said...

Hmm. Guess I'll have to eat that hat after all. Gwen actually filed some charges. However, all I heard on the news was about the bargain-priced car and the gas card for Lewis and Pope sending work to her husband. Nothing new or earth-shattering. There surely must be more - I hope that's not what has taken 18 months to investigate!

Anonymous said...

Well please don't let this BOE hire anyone.... We need CHANGE !!
It is time for SCW, JC and Z to go, and please go now. Their handling of the budget discussions was disappointing and appalling. They all paraded around , trying to look like the good guys for their neighborhood ( selfish agenda ) and voted for magnet transportation while slashing jobs. Shame on them - transportation over teachers,,,, We need a new board...

No Duh said...

Oh how I would love to see this scum trail lead to SCW and ZR somehow.

If my BOE member doesn't quickly start showing indignation (as opposed to continuing to defend CL), I'll start screaming from the mountain top. This board member happily increased CL's salary and extended his contract (though, I do understand the whole "confuse CL with the raise while we add the no-can-sue clause" thing). I much prefer a BOE member who will look a liar and a bully in the face and say "go ahead and sue us."

Now, will they renew Pat Reid/Pope/Pope's contract? Or are they afraid she'll sue, too?

Cerebration said...

Big question - the board met with the DA - they must have had a clue - why didn't they fire him? Why didn't Lewis fire Pope? Just how far and wide will this go? Will Lewis still collect his massive pension check if he goes to jail?

WSB interviewed him as he and his wife tried to drive away from his house. He looked like he was about to be sick.

Anonymous said...

The whole thing has stunk for too long. The entire board needs to go voters in all parts of the county should be upset by this. It's time to recall everyone on the board who bought into this lie.

Anonymous said...

Are we still paying for Lewis' attorney fees? I remember that was part of the deal some time back.

Cerebration said...

OMG! WSB just reported that it's more than gas -- Lewis used his card to pay for a vacation to the Bahamas and tickets to the Masters!

The contracts for Vince Pope were signed by Pat Pope and Dr Lewis - without board approval!

Cointa Moody ran personal errands for Pope - and charged them on a school card. Moody made $100,000 last year as Pope's secretary!

Anonymous said...

Pat got a divorce ? Didn't know that.

Cerebration said...

I had a feeling at the time (could be wrong) that Lewis' $100,000 limit for the attorney's fees covered by DCSS only had to do with school-related charges - not personal charges. That said, knowing this board, they still let him have it (heck, they gave him a $90,000 severance package - knowing there were indictments coming). He probably turned the $100k over to an attorney as a retainer - but it will surely cost more. Dang - how damn greedy can you be? His $250k salary followed with a massive pension for life just wasn't enough for this narcissist.

WSB is reporting that all four have said they plan to turn themselves in to the courthouse -- bond may be set at $250k.

Cerebration said...

Oh - you hadn't heard that part of the story? Pat didn't have to get a divorce - she wasn't legally married to Tony - due to the little fact that she never actually divorced her first husband! The Pope's were granted an annulment.

I actually feel bad for Tony. He may not have known anything was amiss. After all, he had done work for DCSS for years - and yes, his wife gave him contracts - but Dr. Lewis also signed them. If I were a businessperson, when the big boss signs the contract - I would assume that made me good to go.

But Cointa Moody is a wild card! I guess, you really can't get away with too much unless you have a verrrrrrry loyal secretary - who is paid well to do your business.

Anonymous said...

But I was layed off!

Anonymous said...

NO ONE NEEDS TO MAKE ANY MORE CRITICAL DECISIONS UNTIL WE HAVE A NEW BOARD AND NEW SUPERINTENDENT!!!! This travesty cannot still go on! As long as decisions are still being made- even by the interim and existing Assoc Supr, Deputy Supers, Asst Supers, Directors and Assistant Directors... hard working people will be sent to the unemployment line!

fedupindcss said...

This is just stupidity. Of course Lewis could afford Masters tickets or a Bahamas trip. So why use the DCSS credit card?

Or else he was so in debt that he needed to float himself a "loan."

Anonymous said...

Do we (the taxpayers of DeKalb County & the employees of DCSS) have to foot the bill for their attorney fees?

Anonymous said...

I bet this only scratches the surface of all the shenanigans that have been taking place at DCSS. Wonder if anything else will be shaken out of the "friends and family" tree.

Anonymous said...

"Theft? But he gave the gas"

Ah, but channel 2 reports that there was a little matter of a Bahamas vacation paid for with his P-card! This is the slime ball that cost me my job!

At least I will enjoy watching the news for awhile.

Anonymous said...

I agree Anon 6:53. There are others that knew about what was going on. Knowing and not speaking up, makes you also guilty in my eyes.

Anonymous said...

Good coverage by Fox 5

Anonymous said...

@Anon 6:53.... This is absolutely what needs to happen. Unfortunately, the problem is in layers. It will take at least a year to find a new super. In the mean time, there will be a new board election. In the mean time... the existing upper admin are making hire, fire and restructure decisions that will impact the classroom like a hurricane come fall! Even upper admins that are retiring or resigning seem to be "deciding" thing up to the day they leave!

Anonymous said...

In the Fox 5 story linked above, Fox 5's Portia Bruner said Tony Pope was paid $176,000 for one contract for doing no work!! No freaking work!!!

That's enough to pay 5 teachers. Hope you spend a long time in jail, Pat Reid Pope, Crawford Lewis, Cointa Moody and Vince Pope!!!

Up to $80 million in potential fraud. it is clearly time to recall the entire DCSS Board of Education for malfeasance. They have completely failed to protect the interests of our students, and our taxpayer money

Anonymous said...

Several board members were too busy working their own deals, while some knew. Where is SACS now? I sgree with a past blogger. Lets create a spreadsheet with the name of individuals and who got them their positions. We will find that current and former BOE members, current and former Supers, Assoc Supers, Deputy Supers, Asst Supers, Directors and Assistant Directors, Area Directors, Assistant Area Directors, Principals, etc., have ties to many people getting jobs....some are even family members, close friends, etc. We could clean that county office out.....

Ella Smith said...

Dr. Lewis will draw his retirement salary. His TRS is money he has paid in just like I pay in and all teachers and administrators pay in. You get 2% of your salary or more back per year upon retiremenent based on your top years of salary. For instance, if someone made $100,000 and retired after 35 years they would still retire with a retirement salary of $70,000. This is an example of how it works. It has nothing to do with the county. It has to do with the Teacher Retirement System at the state level and money the educators pay into the system each month. We pay a great deal of money into TRS each year for our retirement. The TRS invest the money and actually have a great deal of money to pay us a much higher percentage than they actually do currently. They take own investments monthly and make a great deal of money on our investments while we work and pay us when we retire for a short number of years.

Anonymous said...

Well, looks like there is no chance of a SPLOST 4, because DCSS has proven again that they can not be good stewards of tax dollars.

The one positive of this indictment is the BOE will be forced to bring in a new superintendent who completely cleans house, and the public will vote out 5 BOE members this fall.

Anonymous said...

More coverage:

Hey people, guess what, as of today, Pat Reid Pope is still on payroll making $200,000 per year plus benefits, which comes from our wallets.

Anonymous said...

And Moody has been drawing her 90,000 salary and doing NOTHING for months. This is all very hard to take while you know you will be unemployed come July 1 thanks to these people.

Dan M. said...

Why in the heck do we have a number of admin assistants making $80k, $90 and even $100k per year, when we are firing experienced teachers???

Who will bring financial sanity back to DCSS?

Anonymous said...

This is the saddest of sad days for DCSS. The person in charge of the school system for the past five years indicted under the RICO act, along with the COO. This school system is devoid of ethical and competent leadership. It is time for the current BOE members to resign.

Anonymous said...

Something everyone needs to remember is that the school year ends on June 30. Employees that were give pink slips will remain on the payroll until that time. We will probably see the names of employees separated from the school system in the July or August HR report. This is what happened during the last layoffs.

Everyone should also remember is that all we have at this time is an indictment. In this country, everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Any action taken by the district against employees that have been indicted could subject the district to a lawsuit if those indicted are found not guilty in court.

Though it may be difficult, we still must wait for all the information to come out. It is possible we could see additional indictments unless deals are negotiated to keep this from going to trial. This could be the tip of the iceberg.

Atlanta Unfiltered said...

You can download the indictment at

Anonymous said...

Cere 5:48..your comments sound like the closing seconds of the old t series "Soap" with Billy Crystal...really funny....we all have to stay tuned to this episode of how DCSS Turns...The BOE needs to step down immediately and remove the interim Super. until we see just how deep this investigation will go...I see a few names that will possibly be called to testify against Lewis and Reid that left and went to Gwinnett County Finance Dept....and I also see the HR Director and Finance Director being relieved of their duties and found to be accomplices. This is going to be a fire storm that folks on the inside knew was going to happen and the folks on the outside are saying...OMG....we have been saying this for years and now it looks like it's time to pay the piper....but this stuff had better stick or Gwen Keyes will be unemployed like so mnay other folks in DeKalb County.

Anonymous said...


Either then Director of Business and Administration Ramona Tyson and CFO Marcus Turk knew about the Vince Pope payments and did nothing about it,

Or, they didn't know, and didn't pay attention to multi-million dollar contracts.

Any way you slice it, Tyson and Turk are gone when a new superintendent comes in.

Dekalbparent said...

Question: If Patricia Reid is still employed by DCSS, are her legal bills also required to be paid by DCSS, since the charges are related to her work for the school system? I don't know what the rules are here.

Anonymous said...

Cointa Moody, Pat Reid's secretary, is Facebook friends with BOE member Jay Cunningham. I also noticed that Cointa graduated from Walker (now McNair Sr.) HS, as did JC. Too many people are connected to each other in this fiasco...

Anonymous said...

I think that the state should come in, remove the BOE and take over the school system. The usual majority of the BOE will probably vote to post bond For CLew.

I was really surprised that the DA brought the indictment. I thought that the whole thing would just be swept under the rug. At the end, it might very well be.

Bob Ramay said...

When do we find out how much Village Mill and other Vanderlyn parents paid Pat and Crawford NOT to redistrict Dunwoody's elementary schools?

Anonymous said...

To all who are interested in replacing the 5 BOE members up this year, please alert potential candidates to the following:

You may find the Notice of Candidacy and Affidavit at

Also, as you will find at, candidates for these seats must file qualifying papers and fees between 9 a.m. on June 28, and noon on July 2.

Please encourage any and all to at least file the qualifying papers and fee. The more candidates on the ballot, the greater the likelihood that we will at least force these incumbents into a runoff, which in turn will increase the likelihood of unseating them.

Anonymous said...

Atlanta Unfiltered, Thank you for a link to your article. The information in your article makes me even sadder, than I already was.

I feel sorry for the children of DeKalb, as the money that was stolen/misused could have paid for a number of teachers and/or buildings that need severe updating. Maybe this is why the work that is done in our schools is so shoddy.

upsetsoontobeunemployed said...

@Anonymous 8:04 You're right, I'm thinking the same way as you. CLewis has very close friends at the Central Office. Speaking of the person who's over the Finance Dept. Supposedly his close friend "CFO" knew about the corruption that took place. It's to many things that the Director of Finance (not the CFO) has to oversee meaning "approved" and they question everything that doesn't seems right. I believe CLewis thought that if he told on P.Pope it would draw some of the attention off of him. Wrong!! it only back fired. Once the DA tell them how much time each indictment represent in years of confinement, somebody will sing like a bird.I really believe there will be more to come.

Question ??, what happen to the informant that was working with P.Pope-Reid, one minute you see him/her and the next minute you don't. You know this is the DA'S witness.

I'm just stun ask to why DLewis told on P.Pope-Reid knowing that you were also involved. We see he's not the smartest criminal.

Anonymous said...

Good points Either/Or@8:04 -- Whoever approved CLewis' Bahama and Greensboro, GA trip expenses then looked the other way to keep their job must be held accountable. Allowing them to continue perpuates repeat corruption.

Either turn yourselves in, or Get 'em too Gwen.

Anonymous said...

@ Cerebration 6:08 pm

Actually, Pat Pope's secretary made $92,192 ($115,240 with benefits). Enough for 2 or 3 teachers.

Anonymous said...

Why are we paying secretaries more than teachers?

Anonymous said...

Well pat,lewis and conita don't feel so good do it? Ms. Tiffany you are in on it also. The list is just beginning there is no way turk did not know and if he didn't what in the hell is he doing. See this is what happens when you have all the friends and family on payroll and they don't know what they are doing. The entire admin at the central office needs to go.

Pat you walk around and looked down on people like you were QUEEN OF THE NILE. Well today your name will be remember for a very long time and i can't wait to see you and the others in jail. You lost your job and your man and all the money you stole won't do you any good now. Lewis should go to jail for just being stupid. You all are just a bunch of scum and all this will effect the children in dekalb for a very long time.

Poor dale davis what will he do now that he won't be able to hold lewis coat and open doors. Maybe he can get a job at the jail then he can open and close the bars.

Anonymous said...

Time to go, for everyone in the Central Office who had been in a position to make decisions about spending money. Keep the teachers and instructional staff and rehire those have been laid off.

Clio said...

Bob Ramay,

We'll soon find out!

Dekalbparent said...

The entire 127 pages of the indictment can be seen at:

Dan M. said...

Pope and Reid also accepted tens of thousands of tickets to Atlanta Hawks and Falcons games, the NCAA Final Four (valued at $18,622), the Masters (worth $35,400) and Fox Theater events from a construction contractor without disclosing them. Lewis used four of Reid’s six tickets to the 2008 Masters tournament, the grand jury charged.
Lewis was accused of misusing his school purchasing card, or P-card, to pay a $295 hotel bill on a vacation in the Bahamas and a $107 overnight stay at the Ritz Carlton at Reynolds Plantation in Greensboro, Ga.
The Ritz Carlton trip involved “personal activity with a female employee which was not authorized,” according to the indictment. Keyes-Fleming said the trip was not related to school business.

Overall, she said, the alleged fraud allowed four construction companies to win about $82 million in contracts illegally, including:
– Merit Construction, $9.8 million for Columbia High,
– C.D. Moody Construction, $11.9 million for McNair,
– Nix Fowler, $20.1 million for the Mountain Industrial Center, and
– Turner Construction, about $40 million for Arabia Mountain High School.
None of the construction companies will face criminal charges in the case. “They’ve all been forthcoming and cooperative,” Keyes-Fleming said.


Very, very disappointing that Lewis and Pope received tens of thousands in tickets from school construction companies.

Clearly, these companies should never ever receive any DCSS contracts ever again. Ever.

Anonymous said...

Is David Moody still on the school construction committee?????

Anonymous said...

Actually, if Lewis is convicted , I think he can lose the big pension....NOT the actual money he put in, but the
"forever pension", In case you aren't aware, the money we pay into the TRS is used up in it's entirety in the first 2 to 3 years of retirement. After that, we are riding on the backs of current employees...Works just like Social Security.
Poor Crawford Clueless....I'll bet he doesn't yet know what hit him. He's simply not the brightest bulb in the bin.

Anonymous said...

Who is the head of DCSS Internal Affairs? State Senator Ron Ramsey.

The school system is clearly out of control. Not really any internal controls, internal checks & balances, internal anything.

Can't wait for the new supt. to let Ramsey go. Buh bye, Senator Ron.

Anonymous said...

Yet, Pat Pope is probably getting her obscenely high salary, and C Lew is sitting with a fat pension. What a message to teach the youth... "Hey kids, you too can make a lot of money by taking the taxpayer money away from deserving children.

Anonymous said...

I hope that all convicted have to repay the school system, to show the children that crime does not pay.

teachercreature said...

Hey, are Cointa Moody and David Moody related? As sad as all of this is, I find comfort on this blog. I don't see how these events will ever be swept under the rug again, because too many intelligent, savvy people (i.e. DCSW bloggers) are looking for answers. We may be on a run away train to who-knows-where, but we're on it together.

Anonymous said...

Pat Pope getting paid $200,000 per year months after being moved out of her COO job shows crime does pay.

Same goes with whichever company gave C Lew and Reid Pope tens of thousands in tickets. Gwen Keys better publicly name that company, and that company better not ever receive another penny of DCSS contract money, which is paid by all of us.

Anonymous said...

No one from Vanderlyn paid off anyone. The Dunwoody community behaved so badly that Pat Pope and Dr Lewis gave up. Lest you think that it was only Vanderlyn parents scribing hateful emails, it wasn't. Several Austin communities were organized and aggressive in their efforts not to be redistricted.

Back to the subject at hand, I really wonder how the board will justify retaining certain employees, who must have known this was going on. Who signs the checks? I haven't been able to bring up the actual indictment. Does it talk about that?

Anonymous said...

Y'all remember that TV tour through the new DCSS offices? What with that school credit card charge for "personal activity with a female" at the Ritz Carlton at Reynolds Plantation mentioned in the indictment, guess we all know why the super's office needs a shower.
I did not just say that!!!!!

Anonymous said...

My question is, in the interest of justice and fairness, should the board take another look at the layoffs and how they were done/who was let go in light of the fact that many if not all were decided on by that crook Crawford Lewis and Tyson pretty much just carried his plans.

Anonymous said...

I just read the 127 page indictment. All I can say is "Wow". Very, very enlightening. To a previous poster, it does name the names of the companies that gave tickets. And Cointa Moody and Dave Moody are not related according to the indictment. It seems that all the secretary did was to notarize some payments to Tony Pope and to submit excess overtime ($46,000+) that was incurred when doing personal business for Pat Pope. Not to say that's OK, but seems like her boss told/asked her to do some things and she did. CLewis saw the overtime and let it go, even though all overtime is supposed to be approved prior to taking it. You all need to read through the indictment. It is actually written in pretty plain English (not too much legalese). Crazy!

Cerebration said...

From Atlanta Unfiltered -

Pope was not supposed to perform any new work for DeKalb once his then-wife went to work for the school district in 2007. The indictment charges that Reid, who ran the district’s construction program, manipulated bidding processes so Pope could work surreptitiously as a subcontractor by:

Altering the scoring and forging the signatures of four members of a bid-evaluation team to steer the work to a construction firm that employed Pope. A GBI handwriting expert concluded the signatures were not authentic.

Providing Pope with inside information so he could help submit a winning bid.

Negotiating a low price privately with one bidder without allowing competitors the same opportunity.

Firing the architect for a new McNair Elementary School and changing selection criteria so Pope’s team could be chosen to replace him.

Well, now that just makes me sad.

Anonymous said...

After you read the indictment, we all need to make sure that the Gude Management Group never gets a penny of DCSS money ever again. Samuel Gude, wow, are you an embarassment to your profession. But being friends with Pat Pope fattened your wallet. And how did you hook up with Cousins Properties?

And Kim G, I think somehow the CIP committee missed Cross Keys.

Capital Improvements Plan
Roadmap to the CIP
In the spring of 2006, Dr. Crawford Lewis, Superintendent, formed a committee to develop the five year Capital Improvements Plan (CIP). The members of this committee were comprised of DeKalb County School System (DCSS) staff from a broad spectrum of disciplines. The committee held a kick off retreat in the spring and subsequently held monthly meetings. Through committee deliberation, it was determined that input would be solicited from each school and center in the district to develop the comprehensive CIP. Each facility developed a local committee that submitted what they thought was needed to meet the educational needs of the students at their school. The Facilities Group/Gude Management was hired as a consultant to conduct the Needs Assessment Survey for the County.

Cerebration said...

Well, the thing does start off with a bang -

In order to get millions of dollars to TONY POPE, and through him to PAT POPE, which neither of them could not lawfully receive, the defendants falsified documents, authorized illegal payments, misrepresented material facts to the DeKlab County School System Board of Education (hereinafter Board) concealed material facts from the DCSS Board, and manipulated various aspects of the bidding, contracting and payment processes for these projects.

The defendants also engaged in racketeering activity such as obtaining payment for improper and fraudulent travel, lodging, and the solicitation and receipt of bribes from architects and contractors.

Soon after the District Attorney commenced an investigation into the defendants' misconduct, the defendants expanded the scope of their racketeering activity to include additional acts such as tampering with evidence, obstruction ofjustice, and giving false statements to investigators.

Anonymous said...

You know a couple of years ago those parents at Nancy Creek, now Kittredge, got really close to exposing a lot of this and CLew was able to shut them down.

Today is a GREAT day for DCSS, the sad part was the last three years of hearing rumors and hearsay. Today it's all come to TRUTH.. Hey CLew! The truth shall set you free as soon as you serve your sentence for taking money and education away from our kids to line your pockets.

Isn't it funny how the media reported this today.. When CLew was in charge, Dale Davis would say no truth to what those parents are saying. They are very loud etc.. Even the AJC reporter, hopefully former, Ms. Torres called those parents "vociferous". Ms. Torres how much did CLew give to you not to report the truth?

There is more to come, but today is NOT a sad day but a wonderful day. Today is the first day of the DCSS rebirth. Now the state needs to roll in take over the system and every person, Tyson, Moseley, Mitchell, Thompson, Turk, Guilroys, Edwards and BOE member need to resign!

The 10am BOE News Conference will be interesting. How is the current leadership at DCSS going to "spin this"?

Time for everyone to go! Are there ,ore whistle blowers out there?

Cerebration said...

One thought while reading the indictment - as you read it - you will realize how important it is to have a superintendent who understands business practices. Lewis was in waaaaay over his head.

Anonymous said...

@ Cerebration 11:28 pm

Well, that's what happens when you have a BOE asleep at the wheel. They fired Brown, hired Lewis, rubber stamped every program and promotion Lewis put in front of them, and stuck by him to the bitter end. They even put the Interim Superintendent that he recommended in to lead DCSS.

This is the worse BOE in the history of DCSS.

Anonymous said...

I guess everyone realizes that Ms. Tyson was the Deputy Superintendent of Business Operations with 2 Department heads reporting to her:

Finance - Marcus Turk
Human Resources - Jamie Wilson

Where was she when all of this was happening?

Anonymous said...

The parents of DCSS need to organize a protest tomorrow during the press conference! It's time WE take OUR system back!

If we show support whether we are form the north or the south end of DeKalb, we will get the media on our side and just might be able to take our system back from these greedy, morons who think they lnow what's good for our children.

We must demand every resignation of the BOE and upper leadership in DCSS. Enough is enough!

There is no trust to regain now Ms. Tyson. That 25K you needed for PR just became a whole lot more and you should not be given a dime!

Every DeKalb taxpayer need to demand change! Email the Governor, email Kevin Levitas, our representative on the state school board. We need adults in our central office. Currently we have none!

Cerebration said...

Interesting --

MIC is a large complex that was formally made up of several warehouse-type shopping stores. DCSS acquired this structure previously and since that time, perforn1ed limited renovations on a portion of the structure in order to house the school system's driver's education program. DCSS utilized the majority of this large structure as a storage facility until the time that the MIC project was cleared for renovations. DCSS authorized the build-out of the entire MIC project with the area designated for the DeKalb Early College Academy (hereinafter DECA) taking precedence in the building plan.

So - could it be that the big excuse to build out the Mtn Industrial Complex was for the DeKalb Early College Academy (DECA)? And now that the beautiful admin offices are in - DECA is being dismantled (budget cut!) The health and fitness center was supposedly put there for DECA and Open Campus - but the guard told one of our bloggers that the center was not for the kids - no no - he said - that's for us! Does anyone know if that fitness center and it's infamous former principal director were budget cuts?

We also find out that Pat Pope fired the architect of record on MIS without much explanation. Gee - funny that not too long after that, the Cross Keys architect supposedly "quit". Yeah, right, I always had doubts about that one.

Cerebration said...

The Popes must have really had a chuckle over the board's 30 minute debate over whether they should be allowed to accept a $50 or $100 dinner or gift...

For example, in 2008, TURNER bought Thirty-Five Thousand Four Hundred dollars ($35,400.00) worth of Master's Golf Tournament tickets at the request of PAT POPE. Approximately ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00) worth of those tickets were utilized by DCSS employees. PAT POPE received six tickets for four days to the Masters -four of which CRAWFORD LEWIS used. Additionally, PAT POPE also received tickets to the Masters in February 2009 worth Three Thousand Three Hundred and Ninety-Nine dollars ($3,399.00). In 2009, TURNER gave approxinlately 24 premium tickets, to approximately 6 Atlanta Hawks' games to PAT POPE, TONY POPE and CRAWFORD LEWIS. PAT POPE and CRAWFORD LEWIS concealed the receipt of these gifts from the Board contrary to Board Policy GAl.

Cerebration said...

TONY POPE transferred $100,000.00 paid by DCSS to ANTHONY VINCENT POPE & ASSOCIATES, INC. into an account for P2 HOLDINGS,30 which he jointly owned with PAT POPE, through a series of ten checks, as follows: (10 checks for $10,000 each).

Cerebration said...

HEERY-MITCHELL oversaw construction contracts prior to PAT POPE's employment by DCSS. Shortly after being employed by DCSS, she fired this company and replaced them with GUDE MANAGEMENT GROUP (hereinafter GUDE). PAT POPE knew the owner, Samuel Gude from their days working at another construction company. Immediately after hiring GUDE and during her tenure as COO, PAT POPE or COINTA MOODY repeatedly solicited GUDE to provide tickets to various social functions including:

Multiple tickets to the Atlanta Falcons totaling Three Thousand Three Hundred Ninety-One dollars and Twenty-Five cents ($3,391.25) for her and TONY POPE

Four (4) Tickets to the 2007 Final Four Tournan1ent totaling Eighteen Thousand Six Hundred Twenty-Two dollars ($18,622.00) for her and TONY POPE

Numerous Tickets to the Fox Theater totaling Nine Hundred Twenty dollars ($920.00) for her and TONY POPE

Multiple Tickets to the 2008 Atlanta Mayor's Ball for her, TONY POPE, and CRAWFORD LEWIS

If GUDE did not provide the tickets solicited, PAT POPE would berate Samuel Gude over some aspect of his job, implying that he would lose his contract. The hostility would continue until he acquiesced to her request or referred her to another source to fulfill the request. For example, PAT POPE solicited Samuel Gude to pay for CRAWFORD LEWIS' vacation to New York City. Mr. Gude declined and referred her to another source.

Cerebration said...

For example, on June 17, 2008, CRAWFORD LEWIS called Marcus Turk, CFO of DCSS and stated to Turk that he was going on vacation and was short on funds. He asked if he could use the P-Card to pay for his hotel. Turk advised CRAWFORD LEWIS that such actions were illegal. The next day, Lewis repeated the same request and received the same response. Despite these warnings, CRAWFORD LEWIS used his DCSS P-Card to pay for a hotel room at The Lucayan in Freeport, Bahamas for Two Hundred Ninety-Five and Twenty cents ($295.20). (See Exhibit DDD). No official business was conducted during this stay.

So - when Turk sees the expense come through despite his warnings (if he was halfway inquisitive, he would have looked for it after Lewis returned from vacation) - why did he not report it?

Cerebration said...

CRAWFORD LEWIS used his position at DCSS to initiate and facilitate personal
relationships with female employees. Specifically, he paid for a room at The Ritz Carlton in Greensboro, Georgia, on March 12, 2008, which he used exclusively for personal use with a female su1Jordinate accompanying him. (See Exhibit EEE). No official county business was conducted despite the county P-Card being used for payment. CRAWFORD LEWIS also used county-purchased gasoline to travel to these locations.

Cerebration said...

COINTA MOODY was PAT POPE's Administrative Assistant at DCSS. She went from a salary of $37,000 per year to $60,000 per year. She began receiving overtime in fiscal year 2007-2008. From July 2007 through June 2008, COINTA MOODY received over $10,000 in overtime. From July 2008-June 2009, COINTA MOODY received Forty-Two Thousand Three Hundred Twelve dollars and Eighty-One cents ($42,312.81) from DCSS by filing fraudulent overtime applications. (See Exhibit FFF).
PAT POPE approved MOODY's overtime claims even though she knew at the time MOODY claimed to be working overtime on school related matters that she was actually running personal errands for PAT POPE. For example, MOODY would make personal bank deposits for PAT POPE during the time she claimed to be working on school related matters. (See Exhibit GGG).

CRAWFORD LEWIS previously issued a memorandum that all overtime claims must be approved by him, prior to the hours being worked. Neither MOODY nor PAT POPE followed that mandate with regard to MOODY. After finding out about MOODY's excessive overtime claim, CRAWFORD LEWIS settled the claim and took no actionagainst PAT POPE for failure to submit the requested overtime for payment through him.

Cerebration said...

During the investigation, the District Attorney's Office subpoenaed documents necessary to exanline the allegations of fraud perpetrated by PAT POPE. The subpoenas were directed to the Director of Internal Affairs for DCSS. CRAWFORD LEWIS ordered the Director to forward the subpoenas to PAT POPE as the person to respond to these requests. PAT POPE, in turn, only produced a miniscule nurnber of documents in response to the subpoenas, knowingly withholding documents responsive to the subpoenas. Due to this lack of compliance, the District Attorney's Office executed a search warrant at the Sam Moss Center on October, 13, 2009. The search resulted in approximately fifty (50) banker's boxes of documents compared to the approximately three (3) inches thick worth of documents that
PAT POPE provided.

Um, the director of internal affairs is State Senator Ron Ramsey. Maybe he was just too busy down at the Capitol to follow up on this a little better.

Cerebration said...

And well, here goes this case down the tubes - along with the $12 million for attorneys and $3.6 million for a "report"...

In April, 2006, PAT POPE fired HEERy-MITCHELL CONSTRUCTION COMPANY (hereinafter HEERY-MITCHELL) as the Construction Program Manager for DCSS. As Construction Program Manager, HEERY-MITCHELL oversaw all construction projects on behalf ofDCSS. HEERY-MITCHELL filed suit against DCSS for payments due to them. Instead of paying, DCSS counter-sued HEERY-MITCHELL. As ofthe date of this indictment; that civil lawsuit is still pending.

Can you say - NO CREDIBILITY?!!

Cerebration said...

yeah - oops, forgot about the $85-100 million lawsuit! Of course, this is also why our idiot board kept Pope on the payroll

...on October 8, 2009, CRAWFORD LEWIS unsuccessfully attempted to contact Gwen Keyes-Fleming, District Attorney. He then spoke with Chief Assistant District Attorney Don Geary of the District Attorney's Office via telephone. During this conversation, CRAWFORD LEWIS requested Chief Geary to "table" the District Attorney's Office investigation. He characterized PAT POPE as the star witness in the civil lawsuit and the need to keep her clean to prevent jeopardizing the civil lawsuit. Chief Assistant Geary refused to table the investigation.

Anonymous said...

In the 2004 state Salary and Travel audit Cointa Moody was listed as a School Secretary/Clerk making $33,908.

In the 2009 state Salary and Travel Cointa Moody was listed a General Admin Sectetary/Clerk making $92,192,

Does anyone else see a red flag here?

Anonymous said...

There are 46 General Admin Secretrary/Clerks costing close to $3,000,000. We must have a lot of fancy administrators who have to have their own secretaries. They sure do make a lot more than the School Secretaries:

Here are there salaries from the state Salary and Travel site. You would need to add 25% benefits cost.

Cerebration said...

I find it interesting -- well, distressing actually, that these secretaries and other admin people collect overtime. Ms Moody billed the school system enough overtime to pay a parapro! Teachers are expected to get the job "done" for a flat rate salary no matter how much time it takes - and yet - a secretary gets overtime for doing her boss's banking - among other things!

Anonymous said...

Actually, Ms. Moody's overtime would have paid a beginning teacher's salary.

Kim Gokce said...

"Does anyone know if that fitness center and it's infamous former principal director were budget cuts?"

I think that is Shannon Williams and she took a job at GSU effective June, I believe. Her position was grant-funded and I would guess it will disappear ...

Cerebration said...

No not Shannon - the lady that used to be an elementary principal and who Dr Lewis promoted OVER Shannon - to EXECUTIVE Director of Health and Fitness - Shannon was just DIRECTOR - with a PhD I'm told. So - we lost a good one - and gained another principal exercising her peter principle!

Anonymous said...

So, does he still get his retirement? Please say no. How could we have all been duped like this? This is embarrassing. Shame on us.

Kim Gokce said...

@anon 11:19 "And Kim G, I think somehow the CIP committee missed Cross Keys."

Well, it was in there with the clear emphasis being on completing the deferred SPLOST II work (HVAC/roofing). With the Tech School move, a significant scope increase occurred to expand the 4th wing in a total reno. The most frustrating piece is the fact that every other HS in the area were (are) slated for fine arts/auditorium packages. It remains inexcusable to me that this school is the only one being left out of that party.

As it relates to this indictment, it becomes even more clear how little the constituents in the CK attendance area mattered to these folks. With apparent disregard for ALL constituents, how could I imagine they would give two shakes about CK?

What with all the focus on Masters tickets, 5-star love nests, and such, I can understand there was little time for ethics and equity in CIP planning.

Cerebration said...

I'm sure there's no way to decide anything about pensions unless and until there's a conviction. That said, we do owe Paul Womack a debt of gratitude - he was the sly devil who got the attorney to change Lewis' contract - limiting his severance to 4 months - not the entire contract, which would have cost us a half-million. He cleverly dangled that measly $15,000 raise in front of Lewis in order to distract him from the big contract change! Good job, Paul.

Cerebration said...

ok - found it - Yvonne Butler -- as posted in a comment in this post -

The Audacity is Astounding!

Dr. Shannon Williams is doing a great job. And she pulls in mucg grant money for the school system with no help from her superiors.

But she isn't even a director; technically she's an assistant director. And Yvonne Butler, a former principal with no health background, is actually above Dr. Williams on the organization chart as C Lew's made up out of nowhere "Executive Director of Corporate Wellness".

Kim Gokce said...

Regarding the alleged betrayal of public trust by our officials and the businesses that catered to them, I am reminded of the script from the movie, "The Untouchables," when Ness is offered a bribe by an Chicago Alderman:

"ln Roman times, when a fellow tried to bribe a public official, they would cut off his nose, sew him in a bag with a wild animal, and throw that bag in the river." -Elliot Ness

God help those who abused their position of power and trust - this is about as low as you can go.

Kim Gokce said...

@cere re: "shannon williams"

Ah! Yes, Shannon actually seemed to be very much a professional. I met with her in hopes of gaining an ally for CK projects in DCSS-land only to find out she was working through her notice with DCSS ... it was clear that it was unclear how DCSS planned to manage the nifty health facility at MIC after Shannon left.

Kim Gokce said...

Mr. Womack apparently understands how petty those afflicted with greed become and took advantage of it ... it really seems epic in proportion.

I know this is a silly thought but ... what was going through the minds of these guys as they sat through Sunday services? Unconscionable ...

Kim Gokce said...

I think the single biggest take-away (so far) from this fiasco is how incapable DCSS is in policing itself.

Before I started following public education in DeKalb, I presumed that it would be a business conducted under the utmost scrutiny and in the open. As we all now know, the opposite seems to be the case.

Indictments and convictions will stop the bleeding but it will not cure the patient. We must find a viable way to ensure these types of conspiracies are VERY hard to get away with in public education - this seemed WAY TO EASY!

To those above who are questioning the seeming lack of action by other DCSS employees in positions to see evidence of wrong-doing, you are focused on the most important part of this in my opinion - how could this go on in plain sight?

Anonymous said...

And how many of us have suffered professionally at the hands of such arrogant and corrupt people, with Lewis setting the example for other weak-minded people to follow?

If you have caused others to suffer, you know who you are. If you have suffered due to the actions of others, you know who you are. If you have stood on the sidelines silently watching, you know who you are. Most importantly, God knows who you are.

What goes around comes around in due time.

Anonymous said...

these unprofessional leaders carried the trust of every parent and child in DeKalb and flushed it away. They behaved like some crazed drug addicts and the conduct is beyond reckless it's immorale and just flat out narcissistic. Having witnessed first hand with my collegues how rogue Pat and Crawford behaved most of the general public would be outraged and ashamed of their School Leader. Their actions were gangsta...almost mafia style tactics with the "don't tell the BOE, don't tell anyone what is going on or else words." Threatening behavior is bullying last time I checked...standby for more charges with threatening/bullying employees. The BOE had many indicators/emails...ooh the paper trails of all the corruption that was going on but they all disregarded it as pure gossip or false accusations. They had the opportunity to question those with knowledge and they remained silent. This too shall be made public real soon. This is when the state and other officials will begin to widen the scope of this sinking BOE. There were crimes and there wre cover-ups...Lewis/Pope committed the crimes and the BOE covered it up from the media and the public. Since when is doing the right thing the wrong thing to do. The very thing Lewis/Pope demanded of their workers, they could not deliver; hard work and loyalty. They allowed greed and passion to corrupt them and that's why we are so screwed right now.

Anonymous said...

When I looked into what it takes to recall an elected public official, I could find no reason that would hold water regarding members of this BoE. I was sad but resigned to it.

One of the reasons to recall is failure to uphold fiduciary responsibilities to the constituency. This one is beginning to have legs for me.

Anonymous said...

Here is the problem folks. We have a system with loop holes that scum like Crawford can slither in and out of for his person gain.

Johnny Brown came in and began doing what we need now, cleaning house. He ousted teachers in the classroom that were working under their 2 or 3 year provisional.

Johnny Brown came in and began getting rid of those retired fat cats on pensions and salaries of 40,000 plus as consultants.

He was really for the children of DCSS. Crawford and his coo of cronies got rid of him because he was cleaning up things.


Ramona Tyson, was she not director over Business and Administration; Are we to believe she knew nothing, or at least suspected?

We need more defined policies in place that will close these loop holes.

It should be written in stone the requirements for Principal positions to insure that the candidate is qualified and not just connected.

Principal should have time in:
3 years as an assistant principal with at least a year in attendance, discipline and instruction. Each candidate must have been in the classroom at least 2 years prior to becoming an AP.

All funds spent even for a pencil should be reviewed. Get rid of all these administrative secretary positions and hire more accountants and auditors to watch our tax payer dollars.

Expenses and receipts must be turned in monthly to catch abuse before it gets out of hand.

The local Board should have to answer to someone for their actions or lack their of for the person they put in charge of our schools.

A trip to the Bahamas on his P-Card! How in the heck could they have not noticed or known!

NO WAY...I for one am not buying that one!!

The arrogance of Crawford Lewis!
The incompetence of our board of education members!

LETS LOOK AT THE BOE FINANCES! Somebody had to have been looking the other way! NO WAY HE DID ALL THIS AND NOBODY KNEW!!!!

Anonymous said...

But Womack was one of the most vocal board members justifying the renewal of Dr. Lewis' contract. Womack owed Dr. Lewis. Two words -- Joe Reed.

This BOE did not fire Brown and hire Lewis. Only Ms. Roberts and Copelin-Wood are guilty of that. (And I hear that Ms. Roberts fought hard to keep Dr. Lewis a few weeks ago. She has to protect her children.)

I understand that the BOE knew of some of the P card abuses and put a letter in Dr. Lewis' file. I think it is time to demand who knew what and when they knew it.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 12:27.....
"..for personal use with a female su1Jordinate accompanying him"

I would be very interested in who the female subordinate is that was accompanying him!

Anonymous said...

The current Board should not be allowed to do anything in selecting the next Superintendent. Several of them had a lot to do with Dr. Lewis rising to the position he was not qualified for and all current members fully participated in the deterioration of the system.
The Board should immediately fire anyone related to a current or former Board member.
Finally, if Board members have any integrity to them at all they will all resign. If not we must and will replace them.
"What a tangled web we weave".

Anonymous said...

I would caution everyone against assuming that Lewis and pope's underlings saw what was going on and failed to report it. It is possible that these indictments are the result of insiders reporting what happened. DAs often use such insiders to help narrow the focus of an investigation and to better know where to look. I'm just saying that just because these folks didn't announce it in the media does not mean they weren't reporting this to proper authorities.

Paula Caldarella said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

We need a separate post for everyone to start listing what they know about "who is who" (on the "friends and family plan" (including church connections) so it can be forwarded to the DA... who is related to who and how they are there -- the links to the school board (current and former) and higher eschelon, including promotions as "pay offs" (without jeopardizing privacy). Please only post in this column once Cere gets it going with actual facts -- Use the private e-mail address for posting lead articles if you want to share but don't want it to go public. Also, those of you who have reported to the US Attorney/FBI with evidence of fraud -- please share that with the DA now that we know she is actually prosecuting --go ahead and find out who is collecting that evidence. It seems that the secretary is expected to turn "state's evidence" to help get conviction(s) -- what you know may help get convictions for those already indicted and may pull in others. If anyone is reading this and wants to let folks know where to send such information to get attention by the DA -- please advise.... Thanks.

Anonymous said...

OK Anon at 4:35... Johnny Brown is not and never was good for the county! That jerk gave us his relation Euna McGruder. Now... that was one piece of work. From affairs in one school to tricking another school into believing she was GETTING married when she was in fact married and divorced less than 6 months prior. The school system hid her actions, glossed over her POOR behavior and kept her "on board" and paid until just recently. THANK GOODNESS she's been "let go".
I am VERY happy to see that the postings here are so... so close to accurate. You have to remember that most employees of DCSS are afraid to post because of fear of retaliation. It's hard to understand why people in charge are GIVEN so much power. Power corrupts. Money corrupts. The future of our county looses because the children are left out. No music, no field trips, cutbacks on Fernbank??? How can WE compete in the world if our children are not educated to a standard that will allow them this opportunity? Gross stupidity on the part of the board. CAN we claim child neglect???

Anonymous said...

It's time to petition the state for a take over of DCSS - No Child Left Behind provides for such take over for any system which fails NCLB for 3 years in a row (I'm doing this from memory here). My memory is that DCSS, as a System, has never made AYP. Therefore, the state has failed DCSS by failing to step in and take it over. It is time for the state to take over to save the future of 100,000 school children who are the real losers in this incredible novel-in-the-making (of course Brad Bryant was part of the crew who fired Dr. Brown and hired Dr. Lewis). We need help--badly. State to the rescue? (that was tongue-in-cheek but we need help from the outside -- Martha Reichraith would be an excellent interim superintendant).

Anonymous said...

@6:28 a.m. I would also like to know who Crawford's friend was that accompanied him overnight at the Ritz while his wife was undergoing treatment for cancer. Partly out of curiosity of who could be so heartless, and partly due to the fact this person may be high ranking within DCSS and I wonder if she had carte blanch to hire/promote/pay whoever she liked since she shared this special secret with the boss. This may help unravel more of the tangled web previously mentioned.

Paula Caldarella said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I'm for vouchers at this point. I'm for breaking up the system -- into 2 or 4 parts. Make it smaller. Give the vouchers to the kids and their parents. Money needs to go to the school house and filter up. It needs to be a more controlled environment. The posters' idea about salaries being highest for principals and teachers and not for administrators is brilliant. Lawyers now share secretaries or don't have them at all. Lawyers do their own typing. Teachers do their own typing. Why does central office need so many secretaries? Get a local business school (Emory, GA State, UGA, GA Tech) make DCSS a case study (heck, make it a competition --maybe even a national case competition) and design the most efficient and effective way to really make DCSS premiere and in the interim, kill the moniker. Also, in the interim, take the salaries of the 3 now in jail and put it back into teacher salaries and into the classroom. Time for reform -- gigantic reform. Basic things -- an educated school board (I like college degreees), a superintendant with a business background (send the former principal to an executive MBA program if you don't want to hire a an actual business person like Herman Cain). You see the problems of not having someone who understands business -- education is completely lost in the interim... a good ceo/business person (e.g. Herman Cain, Bernie Marcus, Steve Jobs, etc.) would run the money really tight, turn the enterprise around and hire really good educators to get the eduation prong as good as it can be -- I don't think they would have 40 kids in a classroom next year to preserve the friends and family plan (maybe this is naive but I don't think real solid business folks would do that). Just my 2 cents.

PS-- isn't DCSS up for SACS accredidation this year?

Anonymous said...

Other thoughts -- I don't think a state of art/top notch CEO would ever implement new programs without input from the end users (the teachers/students) and without a beta test (e.g. ESIS) -- and I don't think that they would put individuals in charge of areas without any background at all (e.g. principals in charge of maintenance or transportation or purchasing) -- things aren't done that way at excellent businesses. I think these are some of the real problems we have here at the good-ole-DCSS.

Anonymous said...

Shannon Williams was also over all Health and PE teachers, K-12. From some comments I have read here, I know PE teachers are not highly thought of by some of you. But that is beside the point at this time. Shannon did a great job for those schools without a strong PTA. The county provides hardly any money at all for elementary PE and purchasing equipment. Shannon wrote grants and brought in huge amounts of money and phenomenal programs to those schools who would never have gotten them otherwise. She would ask us what we needed and do everything in her power to get it. I am fortunate enough to have a great PTA who supports PE in everything we do, including giving us money whenever we ask. We also have a line item in their budget every year. I don't know what will happen to those schools in need now that Shannon is gone. I know Dr. Butler will not be there for those schools PE programs. Except in a no-sugar kind of way. (sarcasm). I am glad that everything is finally coming to a head, but for those of us in the trenches of DCSS, it does not even touch the true cancer of the system. That is the "friends and family" program of employment in DCSS. That directly affects us daily. As I said goodbye to friends who will not be back, I thought--if you were related to the right people, this would not be happening. It causes me such anger and emotion but most of all, helplessness. Does anyone on here have suggestions on what we, as teachers, can do, without putting ourselves and our job in jeopardy? We are the ones being directly affected by all of this-- class sizes, furlough days, retirement money, among a few of the changes. And these furlough days for teachers, what a joke... Everyone knows- any teacher who loves what they do and loves those kids that walk in their door everyday, will go in anyway to get the job done. It won't be on those F-day's, but we will go in. And we don't get overtime!! I am thankful that someone is there for the kids. It isn't the people we voted for, it isn't the people in the newly gilded administration facility, but the ones who are at the bottom of the DCSS food chain. That includes everyone in the school building who touch your children's lives on a daily basis. I am so proud and thankful everyday that I am a teacher.

Anonymous said...

Martha Reichrath..."help form the outside"?

I don't think so.

She was with Dekalb for years.

Moved up very fast.

Anonymous said...

@8:09 and 6:28 am
I have some pretty good guesses on "who" that is and I am sure the Richard Belcher does too.

Anonymous said...

Did you ever notice who Dr. Lewis traveled with in his staff? Who went to outside meetings with him?

Sometimes men are know to use business cards for overnight stay to indicate it is business to keep the truth away from their wife. It is too bad he just did not use cash instead of a credit card. This was not wise and will hurt his wife due to bad judgement in the long term. He must have paid this bill back real fast and it is not an issue.

I can understand why a school superintendent who has many meetings at night would benifit from a shower in his office. Many prinicpals in Fulton county have showers in their office. All PE coaches have showers in most counties in their office. This can be turned around but in reality it is a nice feature to a superintendent's office just like a principal's office. These individuals do work long hours and it is nice to freshen up after 8 hours of work before going to work for 4 to 6 hours again in some situations.

Anonymous said...

I am outraged that the BOE press conference is NOT being shown on PDS-24. Wouldn't that be a nice way to show transparency in OUR DCSS?

What are these people trying to hide? This would have been a great way to communicate with all your schools and parents via PDS-24 on how the BOE is going forward.

This shows that Philandrea Guilroy, who is paid 100K+, is not the person who should be running PDS-24. There are production managers at channel 2,5,11 and 46 who are paid a lot less to do twice the amount of work that Ms. Guilroy claims she does.

It's time for all of Francis Edwards family members, who work for DCSS, to resign!

Ms. Tyson, want to regain the trust the piblic has lost in DCSS? Resign today and also let the other upper staff resign too. Moseley, Thompson, Mitchell, Ramsay, Guilroys and Edwards should all resign today!

It's time to sweep up the mess these people have left of OUR school system. One more thing, please lose the "Premier" moniker. It makes us the brunt of many jokes from other systems nationwide.

Anonymous said...

Shannon Williams was one of the very best employees in the system, and brought in a huge amount of grant awards for the system. Unlike Yvonne Butler, Executive Director of Corporate Wellness, Williams actually had a background in public health/physical education. She will be sorely missed.

This hasn't been picked up yet as a separate story, but it will: While Crawford Lewis' wife was battling cancer, he was in far-off hotel rooms with female subordinates using a school system purchasing card.

Having an affair, while you wife has cancer, and asking taxpayers to pay for it?

Well, Crawford Lewis, despite three plus decades in the system, everything positive you accomplished will forever be tarnished. You'll be looked back upon with the same disgust we hold for other DeKalb officials who have brought disgrace to our county, such as Vernon Jones and Pat Jarvis. You have brought unimaginable shame to our once proud school system.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:35 I will beg to differ. Johhny Brown was good fot the kids of DCSS. I strongly believe we would not be in this state if he had not been ousted by the Crawford cronies.

Was he perfect? No. Was he free of sin? No, and neither are you or I.
I weight the good against the bad. he did more good than bad. Not I dont know McGruder or the story behind her.

You stated she was a relative that he brought in. Well who are you to say he would not have dealt with her and her misbehavior had he been left in office.

Johnny Brown started clearing those retired fat cats that were getting their pension and paid over 40,000 in a consultant salary for doing the job they retired from.

He booted out those teachers with friends/family in high places that could not pass their certification test and were working in the classroom under provisionals. he said and I quote: "Parents if your child cant progress to the next grade without passing the CRCT, then his or her teacher should not be allowed to teach in the classroom, and get paid, if he or she cant pass their test"

Johnny Brown was approachable. He never made a parent or staff feel as though they were beneath him.

The man was barely here two years before the ousted him. He never had a chance to truely prove that he was for the success of the school system.

Crawford came in padding his pockets and his admiistrative office with his cronies. From the start he was out to get as many golden eggs this goose (DCSS) could lay him and his cronies.

I do not believe from what Johnny Brown showed me in his short term that we would have the debt and public scandel that we not have today if Johhny brown had still been in office.

Looked at all the folks we have issues with. Ramsey, Reid(Pope), Turk...did they not come in under Crawford? I know Reid(Pope)did!

What is one of our biggest beefs? Is it not the bloat at the administrative office? Isnt that where Johnny Brown was ruffling feathers?

With him attacking or attempting to clean the classroom and administrative office I will always believe he was for the children of dekalb and I will always believe we would not be where we are if he were still superintendent.

Cerebration said...

I have to agree with the people who think the board should be recalled. This has gone beyond tolerable and they cannot be allowed to hide behind the curtain of ignorance. They need to be called on the carpet for supporting and I'd even say abetting Lewis and Pope for SO long.

Good idea for a friends and family thread - I'll try to set one up today.

Also, Anon 8:20 AM, I don't think anyone here has any issue with PE teachers - it's just that we wonder if it's good prep for becoming a superintendent. In today's world, I think superintendents need to understand the education process - but as this little exercise has proven - more than anything, a superintendent needs to have a very high level of business integrity. A hard mix to find for sure - but one we need to look outside the borders of Georgia to find, IMO. We should not promote ANYONE from within the current ranks.

In fact - I think there could be reason to investigate our own internal affairs department. Why is it that they had nothing to do with breaking this story? I have not heard of them "investigating" any of this and then referring it to the DA. Is this because Ron Ramsey (head of DCSS Internal Affairs) is far too busy serving as a state senator at the Capitol for 2 months a year to get his six-figure DCSS job done? Or did he choose to look the other way? I'd really like to know if Ron Ramsey helped break this story - or if he did nothing.

Also - Who is supposed to review Lewis' expense reports? Who should have been the person to question some of these purchases?

Anonymous said...

For example, on June 17, 2008, CRAWFORD LEWIS called Marcus Turk, CFO of DCSS and stated to Turk that he was going on vacation and was short on funds. He asked if he could use the P-Card to pay for his hotel. Turk advised CRAWFORD LEWIS that such actions were illegal. The next day, Lewis repeated the same request and received the same response. Despite these warnings, CRAWFORD LEWIS used his DCSS P-Card to pay for a hotel room at The Lucayan in Freeport, Bahamas for Two Hundred Ninety-Five and Twenty cents ($295.20). (See Exhibit DDD). No official business was conducted during this stay.

Marcus Turk needs to go. He advised Lewis he could not use his p-card for his affair trip in the Bahamas, but Lewis stil did. Even if Lewis eventually re-paid the charge, DCSS initially paid for it. The card should have been denied when Crawford tried to pay for his room at the ultra-ritzy The Lucayan Hotel.

And this line is great: "No official business was conducted during this stay."

Thanks you C Lew, for charging your booty call to my tax bill. The person you personally hand-picked to replace you fired hundreds of teachers, para-pro's and support staff, and you're spending money on booty calls. You are a disgusting man and we will never forget.

Anonymous said...

Ron Ramsey not only is out of the office for over two full months of the year, he has state senate meetings and duties year round. We pay him a handsome six figure salary as the Director of DCSS Internal Affairs, yet there are no internal controls in this large bureaucracy.

And I guarantee he performs state senator business while on the DCSS payroll, uses his DCSS computer for senate work, uses his sweeet DCSS vehicle fo senate work, etc. Wonder if he knew that his good buddy Crawford was having booty calls on the
taxpayer dime.

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

Anon 10:24. We dont need to loose the Premier, we need to ive up to it. We need to clean house and show a premier performance moving forth. That is about the only thing Crawford gave DCSS that is worth keeping. We have premier students and premier teachers. Lets work on the a premier BOE And administrative office.


Anonymous said...

"Other accusations included in the indictment include:
Lewis used his school purchasing card to pay for a vacation to the Bahamas and a trip to Greensboro, Ga., with another school employee. Both were for personal business, Fleming said."

Multiple booty calls. Way to set an example as an educator, Dr. Crawford Lewis.

“She told him she would not go down alone,” Fleming said.

Funny, Dr. Lewis, that you brought Pat Pope to the Premeir DeKalb School System. She didn't even have a complete resume, forget where she worked, etc., but you brought her to DeKalb. You and Pope cost us millions. But at least it led to your shameful downfall.

Now the rest of us are left picking up the pieces. Well, maybe you can teach physical education to your fellow inmates when you're in prison.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:56 Oh yes you did say that...OH YES YOU DID! ROTFLMBO!!

Anonymous said...

Audria Berry will go down or pop up in an indictment with Carol Thedford. Inside tip that she is being investigated by an entity within the county within or closely connected with the DA's office. Title 1 fund are federal fund ladies. I just hope it does not take as long to indict Miller Grove principal Carol Thedford. I hope she is watching the news and shaking in her STILETTOS!

Cerebration said...

Sorry - we made the decision to delete that earlier comment -- as much as we enjoyed reading it - there's no proof and it's totally not nice - if there's a possibility it's not true. It's archived though - so if it does turn out to be true - we'll put it back up...

Trying to play fair here...

Cerebration said...

BTW - in addition to the link to the indictment - we have included a link to Gwen Keyes Powerpoint in the original post. Be sure to download it and review it -

Here's a bit of info from the PPT-

§ 36-91-21. Competitive award requirements

(f)  If any member of a governmental entity lets out any public works construction contract subject to the requirements of this article and receives, takes, or contracts to receive or take, either directly or indirectly, any part of the pay or profit arising out of any such contract, he or she shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Kind of disappointed that this is just a misdemeanor. Surprised too. I mean, some people might think the trouble is worth the payoff...

Anonymous said...

Who doesn't know about Audria Berry, Cere? That's like saying Tova Jackson Davis achieved her HR
position because of her experience in the classroom. Puh-leez!

Anonymous said...

To: All DeKalb Employees
From: Mrs. Ramona H. Tyson, Interim Superintendent
Subject: Communications - Recent News
Date: 27 May 2010

The DeKalb County District Attorney notified the Board of Education on May 26, 2010, that former Superintendent Crawford Lewis, Patricia A. Reid, the former Chief Operations Officer, and Cointa Moody, Executive Administrative Assistant to Ms. Reid, had been indicted on criminal charges. The DeKalb County Board of Education takes these charges very seriously, and will continue to fully cooperate with legal authorities as this process moves forward.

Dr. Lewis’ last day of employment with the school system was April 16, 2010. As of July 1, 2010, Ms. Reid will not be returning to the DeKalb County School System. The employment status of Ms. Moody is being reviewed by the Interim Superintendent and the Board of Education. The school system will continue to cooperate with legal authorities, to await the outcome of the judicial process, and to respect the rights of the accused.

As an employee, you deserve to hear of major developments from the school system, and not solely from news reports. We will do everything we can to communicate directly and keep you apprised of major developments as appropriate.

As employees of the district, we all must remain focused on the important work of educating the children of DeKalb County and performing our work with the highest ethical and professional standards. Our community deserves nothing less.

In less than eight weeks, nearly 100,000 students will return to our classrooms. It will take all us in each role we serve to be ready for our students. Please join me in doing everything possible to stay focused on the task of providing them with the best education possible.

One Fed Up Insider said...

I bet you Casandra Anderson-Littlejohn is doing a very big happy dance in Texas right now.

Before she left, she was trying to get the p-card purchase records but the county would not hand them over.

She knew what was going on but just needed the proof.

Want to bet that she had some help bringing CLew and company down.

Anonymous said...

which means that Pope/Reid and her sevretary still have a job until July 1st! .... cant believe they sent this memo out...

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 10:37 am
"Anon 7:35 I will beg to differ. Johhny Brown was good fot the kids of DCSS. I strongly believe we would not be in this state if he had not been ousted by the Crawford cronies."

I agree. Dr. Brown instituted the $341,000 Ernst and Young Compensation and Classification independent audit that showed 2,500 non-teaching personnel were being overpaid by $14,800,000 a year (teaching personnel were comparable to metro - a little lower than some systems). Less than 300 were being under compensated.

Over 5 years time, this would have saved DCSS $75,000,000 (over half of our current budget shortfall).

The April 1, 2004 BOE meeting (Brown was still superintendent) where the Ernst and Young presented their findings is not listed on the DCSS BOE website, and the study presented that night to the BOE is not posted on the BOE site. This was not a closed meeting. Jen Sansbury (AJC) reported on this meeting April 2, 2004, the day after the meeting.

You can read the BOE meeting notes from 9/6/05 and 12/5/05 where Dr. Lewis disputes the study, but admits there are millions in overpayment to non-teaching personnel. He refused to change any of the salaries.

Why is this extremely important meeting missing from the BOE site? Was this meeting and the meeting notes ever on the BOE website? Why is a report paid for by taxpayers and discussed by the BOE and the consultant missing from the BOE website? Was the report ever on the BOE website? 2,500 non-teaching employees overpaid $14,800,000 is a pretty big deal.

The study was commissioned in September, 2003 and 7 months later its results and summary was presented to the BOE April 1, 2004. Within months, Brown was out and Crawford was in. Crawford was official by January, 2005. I participated in the audit by filling out a very detailed form regarding my job functions and time spent on each function. It was very professional and very fair.

Brown's changes were rocking the DCSS boat.

Here's what the AJC archived article says about the meeting. I paid $5.95 to download the rest of it.

"“Study: DeKalb schools overpay workers”
Date: April 2, 2004 Publication: Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The DeKalb County School System overpays more than 2,500 nonteaching employees to the tune of $14.8 million, but officials said the district may not be able to address the issue in time to affect next school year's budget.

Ernst &Young consultant Jim Landry told school board members Thursday that some positions are "overvalued" and ....."

Ella Smith said...

Do not kid yourself. You do not diss people from speaking to the school board and kick some students out of the school system while other students are without doubt in the school system equally without merit. To single out one family might have be too damaging to imagine. You never know who you might be making mad and what their connections might be. Everyone should be treated equally and with respect and not disrespected.

Anonymous said...

So Tom Bowen says this morning that this only involved a few in DCSS.. Hey Tom! How about demanding a full audit of DCSS, especially the upper management? The BOE react is lame at best!

There is no way others in DCSS did not know what was going on. I can't trust anyone at DCSS or the BOE until some serious in house investigating takes place. Oh yea, hey Tom, you better not trust Ramsey to do the investigation. How about firing some folks, first.

Geez, this continues to be a joke. It's time for a full accounting by an INDEPENDENT investigator. We must take back OUR system folks or Ms. Tyson will continue the reign of terror that CLew carried on during his tenure with DCSS.


Anonymous said...

I love the "C Lew" nickname. But from this point on, I guess it has to be "Booty Call" Lewis. Or "Taxpayer Funded Booty Call" Lewis.

Audria Berry, sure hope you haven't been to the Bahamas or Greensboro, GA lately.

Anonymous said...

I hope the Board of Ed will regularly review P-card purchases now, 'cause Ron Ramsey and his Office of Internal Affairs sure ain't.

And Tom Bowen is a joke. Even if it is just a handful of employees, it's your No. 1 and No. 2 EMPLOYEES, Tommy! When your top two are corrupt, it directly reflects on the Board of Ed, who the No. 1 and No. 2 report to.

And if No. 1 and No. 2 are so corrupt, there's more going on elsewhere in the system for sure.

Tom Bowen, who appointed David Moody to be chair of the school construction committee, even though Moody is bidding on school construction projects, needs to step down as BOE Chair. He needs to take some blame in this disaster.

Anonymous said...

Tom Bowen is an embarassment.

He needs to either (1) resign or (2) explain how all of this went on for YEARS and he had no idea what was going on.

These criminals weren't fudging their expense accounts or pinching office supplies, Tommy. They STOLE thousands and thousands of tax dollars on YOUR WATCH!!!

Anonymous said...

It is with sincere sorrow that I look at my years with Dekalb to see the scandal, sheer selfish behaviors, greed, and total neglect of the educational system come to light in the hands of Lewis, Pope, Reid, and Moody. If anyone thinks that the investigations will stop with these 4, please recount those thoughts. There are more people who created this "oiled, greedy, self-gain" machine. Those of us who are in the "front lines" of educating and servicing our children must look on with astounding disbelief and great sadness. Where from here?...nepotism still high on Dekalb's payroll, unnecessary Central Office personnel, larger classroom sizes for students ensuring lower achievement levels, disgruntled Dekalb "grunt" employees (aka those not in the Central Office), furlough days, hearing the same message...Let's be about educating the children (from Tyson and the other county officials)...blah, blah, blah. Tens of millions of dollars squandered, lost, pocketed, who knows... hopefully the jury of their peers will find out. Meanwhile we continue to muster accordingly and do what we do about educating the children and resting assured that Central Office (in their comfortable $3 million dollar space) will be about not caring.

Anonymous said...

To Ella at 12:14 PM

What are you talking about?

Paula Caldarella said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Another family link: DR. Yvonne Butler, sister of former DCSS Important Guy Lonnie Edwards.

Anonymous said...

As A. Berry is coming to the "limelight" we must also look at all the personnel in that office. Much time was spent in schools NOT within their office jurisdiction for Title I funding or improvement...hmmmm....personal reasons were used to visit the schools on the county's "work hours." Accountability must be made.

Anonymous said...

Dunwoody Mom said...
It was stated several times in the Powerpoint presentation put together by the DA's office, that Cere has posted the link to, that all of this was done without the BOE's knowledge.


DM, if they didn't know, then they are not thorough and competent. They take everything they hear from the Superintendent at face value. They don't review contracts, p-card purchases, etc.

The BOE has not mandated any internal controls that catch malfeasance. And that is unacceptable for an entity with a BILLION DOLLAR BUDGET! Two administrators were able to manipulate the system, and even "rig" $80 million worth of construction contracts!!

Either they knew and looked the other way. or they were absolutely clueless, didn't want to know, and had no internal controls in place.

We need all five BOE members to lose their elections this fall!!!

Anonymous said...

C'mon Dunwoody Mom.

Pat Pope came to them with cancelled contract after cancelled contract, change order after change order, etc.

If the BOE is to lead a system with 100,000 students and a billion dollar budget, they need to know what in the heck is going on. There were so many red flags. The BOE had no problem with the little red flags, like the C Lew car purchase scam and gas fill up debacle.

Anonymous said...

Audria Berry may not have any family members working in her department, but you should check out how many sorority sisters she hired. If you weren't a member of that 'elite' group, your chances of becoming a (non)instructional coach were pretty slim.

Paula Caldarella said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Anon 12:52, Ella 12:14 is talking about Annette Jackson. Crawford shut her up and out of coming to board meeting with her kids and specking . He also restricted her access because she did not live in Dekalb. Her kids were as I understand attending Dekalb schools because their father who is an employee of DCSS, if I am correct on that. jackson has relatives or close friends of her relatives that work in the DA's office.

He picked the wrong parent to try and shut down. She was at his home, outside in front, when the GBI rained it. Wonder where she was watching as he went to surrender at the jail?

Anonymous said...

I can speak first-hand that JIM REDOVIAN ignored financial issues/concnerns I shared with him about Lewis and Pope!

Anonymous said...

It is not necessarily blood or marriage related family members,
it is the Greek sorority and fraternity connections.

I have never seen so many Alpha Kappa Alpha and Delta Sigma Theta sorority females in one place. When I interviewed for a teaching position at DCSS, I overheard a conversation between two women. One was a secretary handling resumes and setting up job interviews. The other woman came into the office and handed a piece of paper to the secretary saying, " This is my sorority sister now, she needs one of those teaching positions. " The secretary replied, " ok" and wrote something on top right corner of the resume. The other women walked away and the secretary dialed the number from the resume and setup a job interview.

They dominate DCSS.
I heard these people received $100k jobs and on the job training while other job applicants with the qualified skills were denied interviews and any consideration.

Anonymous said...

Clearly, the Board of Education is partly at fault here. They ignored a number of red flags, and took a hear no evil, see no evil approach.

But I'm equally as troubled by the DCSS Legal Counsel, in house and the Josie Alexander retainer.

How was Pat Pope allowed to cancel so many contracts, change so many bid spec's, make so many change order without thorough review from counsel, especially with the pending Heery Mitchell case???

DCSS Counsel and the BOE know that every contract cancellation and replacement, bid spec change, etc. is something that could bring a lawsuit. It's happening right now with Heery. You would think the BOE and DCSS Counsel would have had a thorough process to make sure any change was reviewed and would hold up to any possible lawsuit from a contractor who lost a multi-million dollar school construction project.

Then again, this BOE and DCSS Counsel is so clueless that they see no ethical dilemma with David Moddy of Moddy Construction serving as not just a member, but chair, of the school constuction committee. The lack of ethics is amazing.

Anonymous said...

I would love to see a list of DCSS administrators, managers and staff who are Alpha Kappa Alpha and Delta Sigma Theta, and also in the same fraternity as Booty Call Lewis.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:16 more> ...and yes, I shared info with the DA (but only about Lewis and Pope). The DA did not list everything she could have.

Anonymous said...

The "I didn't know" defense is meaningless.

The Board SHOULD have known. It's their job to know. The BoE is responsible for knowing where the money is coming from and where the money is going. That's their job.

The BoE has a duty to the tax payers who elected them to supervise, manage and govern. The BoE failed to do so.

This Board FAILED. The Board's (alleged) ignorance is NO DEFENSE.

Defending them by saying "they didn't know" is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:07 Is A Berry a Delta? I ask not to slander Delta Sigma Theta for I have many-many good and respectable sorars.I ask because Carol Thedford is a Delta. Just fishing for a connection because I can not believe she made this scandilous book purchase with Title 1 money and they did not know. Word is she is throwing Simpson under the bus saying he pressured her into buying 5oo copies of his book at $20 a pop.

Yeah Thedford keep trying...keep trying!

Anonymous said...

COME NOW FOLKS!! That is one of the major perks of the fratornal order that you pay into during hell week!

You pledge with blood sweat and skin tissue off your butt to become a part of the order. The more political influence, the stronger the desire to be apart.

That is not just with the Black fraternities and sororities. It goes for the white ones as well.

Anonymous said...

Public Integrity has been compromised. The state should come and audit the entire system. They need to clean it up and then bail DCSS out seeing that it is partly their fault for not doing anything despite the numerous complaints they have received.

Anonymous said...

anything on the BOE press conference>

Anonymous said...

If it is true that Booty CLew and the higher paid in DCSS pledged
blood and sweat to protect each other during this corruption, it should come out.
If it is a family protecting each other, it is wrong.
If it is a Greek club protecting each other, it is wrong.

We want the truth to prevent this
from happening again to our children.

Booty CLews' lawyer was on a live myfox 5 internet conference saying
his client is innocent and was mistreated by the DA.

Anonymous said...

Why is Pat Pope an employee until July 1st? Why is Ms. Moody's status as an employee being examined? (I can actually understand the latter, for now. But as others have posted, there was to be no overtime as of last year and she billed $43,000.)

Here is the official statement from Bowen:

Here is CBS Atlanta's coverage of today's press conference:

Anonymous said...

This went out to all teachers today on First Class:

To: All DeKalb Employees
From: Mrs. Ramona H. Tyson, Interim Superintendent
Subject: Communications - Recent News
Date: 27 May 2010

The DeKalb County District Attorney notified the Board of Education on May 26, 2010, that former Superintendent Crawford Lewis, Patricia A. Reid, the former Chief Operations Officer, and Cointa Moody, Executive Administrative Assistant to Ms. Reid, had been indicted on criminal charges. The DeKalb County Board of Education takes these charges very seriously, and will continue to fully cooperate with legal authorities as this process moves forward.

Dr. Lewis’ last day of employment with the school system was April 16, 2010. As of July 1, 2010, Ms. Reid will not be returning to the DeKalb County School System. The employment status of Ms. Moody is being reviewed by the Interim Superintendent and the Board of Education. The school system will continue to cooperate with legal authorities, to await the outcome of the judicial process, and to respect the rights of the accused.

As an employee, you deserve to hear of major developments from the school system, and not solely from news reports. We will do everything we can to communicate directly and keep you apprised of major developments as appropriate.

As employees of the district, we all must remain focused on the important work of educating the children of DeKalb County and performing our work with the highest ethical and professional standards. Our community deserves nothing less.

In less than eight weeks, nearly 100,000 students will return to our classrooms. It will take all of us, in each role we serve, to be ready for our students. Please join me in doing everything possible to stay focused on the task of providing them with the best education possible.

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering if Audria Berry ever used that shower at the new office?

Anonymous said...

". . . Principal should have time in:
3 years as an assistant principal with at least a year in attendance, discipline and instruction. Each candidate must have been in the classroom at least 2 years prior to becoming an AP."

I would add that before DCSS elevates an individual to the job of Principal that individual should have experience in more than one school, as an AP, in the school system. This does slow down the process, but it gives the administration time to evaluate the individual's effectiveness in more than one school situation before a promotion is granted.

Anonymous said...

@ Cerebration 12:57 am

Very strict overtime rules were instituted in late fall, 2007. All DCSS employees outside the schoolhouse were told we had to declare the 8 hours we would work – i.e. we could decide to work from 7:30 to 4:30 or 8:00 to 5:00 or 8:00 to 5:30, etc.

We were required to sign in and out and had to take an hour for lunch. We were strictly forbidden to work any overtime. We were told any time we needed to work over the 8 hours, pre-approval must be sought, and if approved, and we would be paid time and a half (that happened a few times). We were told this was a response to a lawsuit by the bookkeepers in DCSS.

Dr. Lewis exempted teachers and the schoolhouse administrators from this overtime requirement. Since all schoolhouse teachers signed in and out to make sure they worked 8 hours that was not a problem. However, teachers within the schoolhouse were also exempted from overtime pay. Perhaps it was reasoned that teachers were certified, contract employee so they could work overtime without pay. (e.g. teachers may need to stay overtime for faculty meetings, staff development, parent meetings, etc.). Not being one of the “upper management” personnel, I don’t know how they rationalized it. I tried to find out.

I pointed out in the staff meeting in which the new mandate was discussed that everyone in my department was a certified contract employee even though we were outside the schoolhouse, and we were told not to work any overtime unless we got time and a half. I said I didn’t think it was fair for certified teachers inside the schoolhouse to have to work overtime without being compensated time and at half for overtime when certificated contractual personnel outside the schoolhouse were being compensated at time and a half for overtime. I asked what was the rationale fr this decision? I was told Dr. Lewis had made the decision that the overtime decision would not apply to teachers and administrators in the schoolhouse, but would apply to everyone else. There was no room for discussion.

I was always surprised teachers didn’t get upset that certified contract employees outside the schoolhouse were getting overtime while they weren’t.

I’m retired now so I don’t know what the status of the overtime rules are currently.

Anonymous said...

Someone earlier mentioned Tova J-D.
It is my understanding she is one of those who got family members jobs in the school house. Jobs the family members were not particularly qualified for.

Anonymous said...

Apparently, it is high probable that those indicted face federal charges as well. I remember the possibility that wire fraud may be charged. I have heard that Reid wired some of her loot to an offshore bank account. If this is true, then this is a federal crime. She and Lewis will also face the scathing wrath of the IRS. Any county connections the four may have will not help them against the U.S. Attorney's office.

Of course Title I money is fed money, and if there was any abuse in spending or receiving it, or any theft of Title I money, the Feds will handle that, too.

Anonymous said...

Alston and Bird?!?!?! Crawford Lewis is being represented by an attorney from Alston and Bird?!?!? Who the hell is paying for such high-priced legal counsel?

Anonymous said...

You may also want to ask JIM REDOVIAN about his "friend" who is the Marketing Associate in the Department of Athletics. Absolutely one of the positions that should have been done away with.

Anonymous said...

Booty CLew's attorney is just draining him for some last few billable hours before passing him off to another lawyer.

Alston & Bird don't do criminal work. They're a civil law firm.

Mike Brown is an employment lawyer. He's already told Booty Call CLew he needs to hire a real criminal defense lawyer.

Booty Call CLew better get a good one. I'm sure the Popes will turn on him (and testify against him) as part of their plea bargain agreement. No honor among thieves and all of that . . .

Anonymous said...

More coverage:

Melvin said he is scared the two will intimidate witnesses, similar to what they did to get money. They are accused of manipulating construction contracts to gain money, along with pressuring contractors to give them more than $35,000 worth of premium sports tickets.

Lewis claims innocence in DeKalb school scandal
“He was with DeKalb County for 35 years," Mike Brown, Lewis' attorney, said. "He was a principal. He was a teacher. He was an assistant superintendent and he was the superintendent. But he was never responsible for overseeing the bidding and the selection of contracts."

Never in charge of bidding and contracts? We should have paid him less!

Birds of a Feather said...

Crawford Lewis.
Tom Bowen.
Jim Redovian.
Jay Cunningham.
Tony Pope.

Birds of a feather flock to together . . .

Cerebration said...

Offshore accounts - yes, we've heard there are two - affectionately nicknamed "David" and "Goliath"...

Anonymous said...

You want to know who else worked
like heck without overtime,
The Computer Techs (CTSS).
During 2008-2009 we worked our tails off to get every workstation on Microsoft server.
Some techs even worked on Saturdays. We were told by Ms. Tyson Aug 2008 to not start up about overtime or comp time.
She said was upset about the Registrars winning their overtime lawsuit. The CTSSs need to sue
DCSS for unfair salary compensation.
She said if she hears any stuff, yes her very professional term was stuff, about any of us asking our Principals for overtime or
compensation time, she would fire us.
Now MIS has let go 11 CTSS
positions (7 last hires, 2 retirees, and 2 vacant slots).
I am looking for another job.
No raise in years. No respect.
Embarassed to receive pay of 34k a year.

Anonymous said...

CTSS at my school rocks!
Really works hard to keep our junk PC's running all that crappy software.
She is worth gold!

Cerebration said...

Wow. That's disappointing. I continue to hope that Tyson really is the person she presents - but Lewis has already made us all skeptical beyond belief and the stories we're hearing about how Tyson may be actually treating people behind the scenes - vs her public statements - is disturbing.

Talk is cheap. Let's dig deep and find some integrity. I do worry that Tyson was a bad choice, simply because she must return to her former MIS post at some point, which only encourages her to protect that department at all costs. I keep hoping this is not the case - but her actions are not as strong as her words.

Cerebration said...

Well - there's bada** public school news just about everywhere... Here's the latest in Gwinnett -

SNELLVILLE, Ga. -- A woman who had been voted Teacher of the Year at a Gwinnett County high school has resigned amid allegations she had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student.
29-year-old Keenon Aampay Hall left her job as an English teacher at Shiloh High School after being accused of seducing a student who came to her for help with homework.
The student, a 17 year old senior, went to officials after he received a failing grade from Hall.
According to the senior the relationship had been going on for six months but ended when the teenager refused to get the teacher pregnant and that’s when she gave him an F.


DCSS Teacher said...

As a teacher, I can't wait to retire so that I can sue DCSS for its breach of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Like most employers, DCSS distinguishes between exempt and non-exempt employees. ref: Exempt employees are exempt from certain labor laws, and don't work on an hourly basis--as such, they can't be held to a time clock nor forced to punch in,although their time on the job can be noted as necessary for job performance.

Teachers are exempt, as are most salaried employees. However, threatening to dock teachers if they don't work their full 40 hours per week is illegal--the assumption being that exempt employees will work whatever hours are needed to do the job. In the case of teachers, that routinely is longer than 40 hrs/week: usually, more in the neighborhood of 50-60 hours.

But after DCSS lost the lawsuit brought by non-exempt employees in 2007, who sued because they were being forced to work overtime without compensation (including taking work home), the county became very particular about not letting these people work one minute longer than required by their contracts. They are harassed on a regular basis at our school about time sheets and not working overtime--whereupon they could demand compensation.

At the same time, the crackdown on teachers became more draconian--and this is what I can't wait to pursue legally. It's unpleasant and intimidating to have to sign in and out under the direct gaze of your frowning principal, under the repeated threat that you will lose part of your salary if you don't work exactly 40 hours per week. As if any teacher is likely to work only 40 hours!--but it is a constant source of intimidation in our school. The Fair Labor Standards Act explicitly states that time can be kept for exempt employees but is not to be used as a measure of job performance that could be used to dock pay--job performance is to be measured in other ways, i.e., through personnel reviews.

Just another way that teachers' lives have become more anxiety-ridden in DCSS. Attempts to address this issue by several teachers via the Fair Labor laws have been ignored, a common occurrence in this county. So what alternative is there besides a lawsuit?

Cerebration said...


Hello eduKALB Board,

The Georgia School Board Association is offering a workshop for people interested in running for a school board position.

To register electronically -

Go to

then look on the left, and click on Education Policy Forums. Midway down that page there is a place where you can click to register electronically.

The one at DeKalb Tech is from 12:30 to 4:30 on Thursday, June 3. It will cover school board member responsibilities in depth as well as issues relating to school board governance and leadership.

There is another workshop at Atlanta Tech on June 17 for people who need more lead time.

Cerebration said...

I will say - only Don McChesney seems to have the courage and the inquisitiveness to ask pertinent questions at board meetings. I've got to compliment Don here - he always seems prepared - having read all of the documentation before the meetings - often having done additional research that he brings to the table. I can remember Don questioning Pat Pope as to why there were not very many bidders on projects - stating that he noticed there were several approved vendors, but there was only one bid submitted. Pat shrugged and stated that the others simply had chosen not to bid. In this economy --- when the construction industry has been literally decimated - no one bid on DCSS contracts!?? Either that's true - and we have to ask why - or they were prevented from participating. Which I would still have to ask - why?

Keep questioning things Don -- that's your job. Don't let the Lewis support team make you back down - we're all behind you out here!

Anonymous said...

My friend works in the NYC public school system. They are unionized. She has to work exactly 6 hours and 45 minutes. She also has a plan period and lunch. Any time past that she has to be paid overtime. They are not laying off up there although bloomberg is trying to break the union. There are are some real negatives though. She's in a great school The School for Performing Arts (the one Fame was based on). But she was assigned there. She worked in a zoned school before. They have lots of magnets and the zoned schools have to take anyone who isn't accepted to a magnet. She often has 40 kids on her roster for art but was told not to worry, they won't all show up. Sure enough only about 30 a day showed up. If you have a cetificate you go where you are sent. If you turn down a job, you can lose your certificate. It also is rife with corruption like DCSS. I think a teacher's union is probably the way to go (teachers are an endangered species). But I really don't like a lot of what I hear about the teachers unions. I would not like to exchange one form of control for another. But then at least we could keep our jobs.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the error. My friend in NYC zoned schools had 40 on the rolls in each class. In the magnet school she's at now she has a normal class load. It is Manhattan's pride and joy - many Oscar winners went there. She finds a lot of politics though as big bucks flow through.

Cerebration said...

For those who may be a bit lost on the history of these charges - the AJC published a timeline -

DeKalb School Board time line

October 2005: Pat Reid, then named Pat Pope, is hired to run the DeKalb school district’s construction program.

November 2008: One of Reid’s employees reports allegations about her to the school district’s internal affairs unit.

December 2008: School district police search Reid’s office in connection with its internal investigation.

Feb. 20, 2009: The school district turn over findings of its internal review involving Reid to the district attorney.

Oct. 13, 2009: District attorney's office investigators search the homes and offices of Reid, her then-husband, architect Tony Pope and their friend, construction company owner David Moody.

Oct. 22, 2009: Pat Pope is removed from her position, reassigned to special projects and moved to a different building.

Feb. 25, 2010: Crawford Lewis is placed on temporary leave after his home and the school district headquarters are searched by authorities.

April 17, 2010: Lewis is fired by the school board.

May 26, 2010: Lewis, Pat Reid and Tony Pope are indicted on racketeering charges.

Ella Smith said...

Annonymous, I noticed who was in the crowd when Dr. Lewis' house was raided and I thought that was interesting.

I also knew that this same person has deep political connections in Dekalb and the school board and Dr. Lewis did not mind that they went after her and did not go after all the other teachers who have students who do not go to the school that they teach at. This is what I meant by my comment.

I just thought it was interesting she was present when Dr. Lewis' house was raided. How did she know it was going to be raided. That is all I meant by my comment. Apparently she knew ahead of time and wanted to be present to see it happen. I just was shocked to see this parent present and knew that she had to be very mad at the school system for kicking her children out of the school system while leaving so many other children who parents who teach in Dekalb and have their children at other schools other than they teach. I am sure she has some very hard feelings toward members of the school board and Dr. Lewis. Go back and look at the video of the raid. I am horrible with names but if you are familiar with the school board meetings you will reconize this lady.

Cerebration said...

From CBS 46

DeKalb's school board chairman, Tom Bowen, said board members were stunned when they got word of the 900-page indictment.
“It was a blow in the sense that it was such a serious indictment,” said Bowen.
“Were you and this board aware of these sweetheart deals and the bid-rigging alleged in the indictments?” asked CBS Atlanta’s Rebekka Schramm.
“The board, just like the general public, had heard bits and pieces of the investigation being conducted,” said Bowen.
“No one, I think, had near the information that was released in the indictment,” he said. ...

While Lewis was in office, taxpayer dollars were used to pay his legal fees.
After Lewis took leave in February, Bowen told CBS Atlanta that Lewis would be forced to pay the legal fees back to the county if he were indicted.
"The provision for legal fees was apart of his contract. It's nothing we (the board) drafted that's unique to Dr. Lewis. It's something that's very common for public figures of this stature," said Bowen in February.

Cerebration said...

@ Ella - I think the parent is Annette Jackson. As stated earlier by a poster, her children were students at DESA. Their father works (ed?) for DCSS so that's how they managed to attend DESA, even though they live with their mother in Gwinnett. (I think the twins who recently murdered their mother in Conyers have a similar situation - I think they were Tucker students...) This happens all the time all over DCSS... EXCEPT - Ms Jackson brought her children to every board meeting and had them read prepared speeches protesting the move of DESA. The board and Lewis grew weary and irritated and shut her down. But like Ella says - they didn't apply the rule to anyone else. It's just another example of how Lewis handles those who disagree or irritate him. He did this with the firing/rehiring/refiring of Mr. Chelf at Lakeside.

Anonymous said...

The DeKalb District Attorney should look beyond the County to the State Level to see if similar dealings have occured at the Board of Regents involving recent contracts with Tony Pope and special relationships he has there.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Another family link: DR. Yvonne Butler, sister of former DCSS Important Guy Lonnie Edwards.

May 27, 2010 12:55 PM
Please be careful with the posts including names. This is an inaccurate fact. They are not siblings. Dr. Butler was a crusader for childrens' health but many in the county office resented her success with the program. Some who know her think that they placed her in the county office to silence her program which was very successful.

Enough is enough said...

Teacher with the friend in NY: I also have such a friend. I am envious of the support provided her by the union and the availability of the union rep at each school to help work out problems without involving a supervisor. Here, the person who writes your personnel evaluation is the person you're supposed to go to for problem-solving help, which dramatically limits the situations you report for fear of reprisal. Unions have their drawbacks, but without them, teachers have no clout at all. Witness the last few months in DCSS!

My friend is appalled when I tell her of the abuse teachers in Georgia just take for granted. Why don't we stand up for ourselves? We should NOT allow our time and our income to be unilaterally adjusted without any input or control.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the Feds, I have an email sent to a local Federal Attorney, he just replied that he can't speak to the case at hand. I asked why, he said "something is pending".. Hmmmmmmmm

Reality though with Eric Holder running DOJ, do we think he would prosecute? I hope so. But lately with the Black Panther case getting dropped and Holder not wanting to investigate the Sestak/White House job offer "gate" I really wonder if Mr. Holder will want to move ahead against fellow democrats in South DeKalb. I would hope so. BUt wonders never cease!

One thing is for sure, Ms. Keyes Fleming would not have brought all this forward unless she had a good case. Her Powerpoint and indictments are easy reading for the public. I thank her and her staff for keeping it easy to read and not in that legal scramble word crud. Thanks Ms. Fleming kep up the great work.;

Anonymous said...

The US Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia is Sally Yates. She is top notch, having gotten a conviction against Bill Campbell. Eric Holder is US Atty General. I don't think he would have to approve prosecution by Yates against Lewis or Reid, or both, though he may.

Bush and Gonzales (what a joke!) probably had more "discretion" over local prosecutions than Holder has, for good reason.

Anonymous said...

Whoops, Lonnie Edwards and Yvonne Butler are not siblings. Sorry. She is his niece, not sister. Bet they still attend the same reunions.

Anonymous said...

It is not necessarily blood or marriage related family members,
it is the Greek sorority and fraternity connections.

Isn't this the truth!! I feel like I am at a college campus when I am at functions held by DeKalb Schools. I have heard of so many promotions based on what Greek letters and colors you wear.

Ella Smith said...

I just set as a juror on a jury and just because these charges have been brought does not mean that these individuals are guilty. These are charges and just in the Superior Court case I was a juror many of the charges are not proven and these individuals may still be found "Not Guilty". I think it is premature to assume guilt.

Legally these individuals are innocent until a judge or jury finds then guilty by our criminal system. It is easy to assume guilt. It is easy for me to make assumptions also. However, this is unfair to these individuals who have not had their day in court in order for the prosecutor to proof their guilt.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 6:19 pm

"Dr. Butler was a crusader for childrens' health but many in the county office resented her success with the program. Some who know her think that they placed her in the county office to silence her program which was very successful. "

What kind of a statement is that? If anything, the county office has always been about any flashy program they can show participation in. Who are "they"? Obviously, Crawford Lewis placed her in the county office. Any new position created had to be presented to the BOE by Lewis.

Ella Smith said...

You are correct. It was Ms. Jackson. She is a very smart young women who only wanted the best for her children and her children attended the school system her children taught at but it was not the school her husband taught at. The school board and the administration got apparently upset with her and reacted.

I believe she has many political connections that were not calculated into the situation. I believe the school system upset many people that they did not need to upset by their actions. These actions were against this family and not against other teachers, administrators, and school board family members who might be attending the school system in similar situations. I think this was the problem.

Again, I thought it was interesting that she knew that the raid on the school superintendent's home was going to happen and she was present when it happen. Of course maybe someone had a police radio. This could explain the reason she was present.

Ella Smith said...

I agree also that Don is prepared when he goes into the school board meetings. He has read the material unlike other school board members.

However, many may have read it and agreed with it and just do not ask questions. I am happy to see my board member ask questions.

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