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Latest tab for Dunaire bullying investigation: $389,161

Latest tab for Dunaire bullying investigation: $389,161
September 4, 2009 --

DeKalb County schools have paid attorney Thelma Wyatt Cummings Moore $389,161 to investigate bullying at Dunaire Elementary School. The latest summary of payments, released today, shows the school district paid Moore:

May 12, 2009 — $ 3,423
June 5, 2009 — $166,955
July 13, 2009 — $128,628
Aug. 18, 2009 — $ 90,155

Total — $389,161

Report: Family violence, loved one’s death affected 5th-grader before suicide

August 26, 2009 --

Domestic violence and the death last year of a beloved grandmother may have played a role in the suicide of a DeKalb County fifth-grader, an investigative report released Wednesday says. Retired Fulton County judge Thelma Wyatt Cummings Moore found “no evidence” that school officials were told of alleged bullying of Jaheem Herrera, 11, before he took his life. But the judge suggested Jaheem was affected by domestic violence directed against his mother and by the death six months earlier of the grandmother who raised him.

DeKalb rejects parks director’s appeal of firing over swim meet snafu

DeKalb rejects parks director's appeal of firing over swim meet snafu
August 11, 2009 --

Marilyn Boyd Drew appealed her July 20 firing as DeKalb County’s parks and recreation director, but she won’t get a hearing like the county’s police chief did. Records show the county rejected Drew’s appeal on the grounds that her job was exempt from the Merit System’s protection. She was once mistakenly classified as a merit employee, but not anymore.

Teacher alleges DeKalb denied services, facilities to disabled students

August 7, 2009 --

DeKalb County denied disabled students access to school facilities and services and then fired a teacher who complained about it, the teacher claims in a lawsuit filed this week in federal court. Social studies teacher Gordon Rolle says he was fired from Martin Luther King Jr. High School in Lithonia when he complained about issues involving textbooks, testing for conditions such as autism and access to bathrooms, the media center, counselors and field trips.

Federal court: “Shocking evidence” of racial bias in DeKalb parks dept.

Federal court: "Shocking evidence" of racial bias in DeKalb parks dept.
August 3, 2009 --

Former DeKalb County parks director Becky Kelley presented “shocking evidence” of an overt pattern of racial bias by then-CEO Vernon Jones and others, a federal appellate court ruled Friday. Four current and former parks employees thus will get their day in court, or increased leverage to settle their claims out of court.

Homeowners: PATH trail-builders should repay $8M to DeKalb

Homeowners: PATH trail-builders should repay $8M to DeKalb
August 3, 2009 --

The trail-building PATH Foundation owes more than $17,000 for homeowners’ legal bills after disturbing a DeKalb County forest and stream without necessary permits, a judge ruled recently. Now, the homeowners say, PATH should pay $8 million more. That’s how much DeKalb has paid PATH for projects awarded without competitive bidding.

Bolton returned luxury cars, then changed take-home policy

Bolton returned luxury cars, then changed take-home policy
July 28, 2009 --

Ex-DeKalb police chief Terrell Bolton, fired for personal use of county vehicles, gave himself sole authority to approve use of take-home police cars late last year, records show. But that directive took effect several weeks after he returned two luxury cars, seized from drug dealers, that had been parked in the garage of his Stone Mountain home for much of 2008, according to evidence in an administrative hearing on his dismissal.

ATL police major investigated for felony in DeKalb

ATL police major investigated for felony in DeKalb
July 24, 2009 --

Maj. Pearlene Williams, chief of staff for Atlanta Police Chief Richard Pennington, is under investigation in DeKalb County, where her son has been serving time for a 2007 pawn shop killing. Court records show the DeKalb district attorney opened a file Wednesday on an allegation that Williams violated her oath of office, a felony, after the DeKalb sheriff forwarded an investigative report. Neither office would discuss the case. But, a spokesman cautioned, “She hasn’t been charged. She hasn’t been indicted.”


DeKalb school board drops Sembler suit

DeKalb school board drops Sembler suit
July 24, 2009 --

The DeKalb County school board has dropped a suit seeking to block a controversial tax break sought by the Sembler Co. But the board still wants a say on any tax abatement being considered for the St. Petersburg, Fla.-based development firm.

Fired DeKalb rec director had stormy 7-year history

Fired DeKalb rec director had stormy 7-year history
July 21, 2009 --

Monday’s firing of the DeKalb County recreation director, ostensibly for messing up entries for a state swim meet, actually may have been seven years in the making. Marilyn Boyd Drew was dismissed after her department missed several opportunities to enroll 67 kids in a statewide swimming competition to be held this weekend. But Drew has been accused of job discrimination, based on reverse racial bias, almost as long as she’s been running the department.

Fired DeKalb police chief: ‘I was unique’

Fired DeKalb police chief: 'I was unique'
July 15, 2009 --

Fired DeKalb police chief Terrell Bolton testified today he was exempt from county procedures forbidding police executives from taking compensatory time. He said Vernon Jones, former DeKalb CEO, promised Bolton comp time in 2007 when he was hired. “My deal was that I had followed the [comp time] policy as established by my boss,” he testified as an appeal hearing on his firing resumed. “I was an executive and I was unique.”

DeKalb CEO’s campaign fund nearly wipes out 2008 debt

DeKalb CEO's campaign fund nearly wipes out 2008 debt
July 13, 2009 --

Burrell Ellis has just about paid off his $700,000-plus campaign for DeKalb County CEO. Now, it’s time to start thinking about 2012. His latest financial disclosure report shows Ellis has collected $132,514 from campaign donors since winning an August 2008 runoff, allowing him to retire most of his campaign debt.