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March 5

March 5, 2011 --

Feds: Money manager bought beach house with client funds Senate bill tackles sales of tax liens Senate bill would halt contingency-fee forfeiture prosecutions Why did governor purge state Board of Education? Cobb official out amid workplace complaints Sandy Springs prostitution busts questioned Jury awards MARTA lt. $700K APS ethics panel finds evidence against board member

Oct. 14

October 14, 2010 --

Barnes claimed tax breaks on house he didn’t own Nathan Deal lobbied AG, EPD for landfill Nathan Deal answers ethics questions Is DeKalb CEO disregarding budget cuts? N. Ga. judge involved in campaign conflict? Ga. board of education delays adopting ethics policy model Barrow Co.’s HR director quits, drops complaint Oconee commission backs ethics ordinance

Sept. 10

September 10, 2010 --

Sanford Bishop steered scholarships to family Disabled Georgians sue over program cuts DeKalb: ‘Accreditation is safe’; lawmakers not so sure State Board of Education adopts governance, ethics standards Still no sale of Golf Hall property DA names special prosecutor for Warner Robins councilman

Test scores questioned at 1 in 10 GA schools

Test scores questioned at 1 in 10 GA schools
February 10, 2010 --

One in 10 Georgia public schools showed a suspicious number of changed answers on the 2009 Criterion Referenced Competency Test. The state Board of Education may order local investigations and monitoring of the 2010 CRCTs to “eliminate future problems and help students who have been adversely affected by test tampering,” said Kathleen Mathers, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement. We’ve got the list of schools.

DeKalb schools may pay $15 million to manage construction program

DeKalb schools may pay $15 million to manage construction program
December 2, 2009 --

DeKalb school officials want to pay Parsons Corp. and another firm $14.6 million to manage construction through 2012. The school board Monday may pony up the 2010 installment — $6.1 million. Parsons took control of the program in October when chief operating officer Pat Pope was reassigned as an investigation of construction contracts heated up. But the outsourcing would have cost the same regardless of Pope’s status, a school spokesman said today: “Their dollar figure would not have changed.”

Ex-Rep. Charles A. Thomas Jr.: 6 years in prison

November 9, 2009 --

The Georgia Supreme Court accepted Charles A. Thomas Jr.’s surrender of his law license today. Maybe he can be a “jailhouse lawyer” while he’s serving his six-year prison sentence for theft and forgery. Thomas, a member of the Georgia House from 1979 through 1994, sold title insurance for Stewart Title Guaranty Co. until losing that privilege in 2004. Since then, Thomas continued to offer title insurance to clients, forging the policies and collecting the premiums for himself.

DeKalb gives Parsons ‘full responsibility’ for school construction — at least for now

DeKalb gives Parsons 'full responsibility' for school construction -- at least for now
November 3, 2009 --

Parsons, the engineering and construction firm, will oversee DeKalb County schools’ $466 million construction program for the next six weeks. After that, who knows? Parsons and Jacobs Project Management Co. will be paid $644,150 for their trouble. The firms in June won a contract for “supplemental” management, but Superintendent Crawford Lewis gave Parsons “full responsibility” for the program in an Oct. 22 letter. The company takes the reins from chief operations officer Patricia Pope, whose office is under investigation by DeKalb prosecutors.

DeKalb plans school closings to trim 16,000 ’empty seats’

DeKalb plans school closings to trim 16,000 'empty seats'
October 25, 2009 --

DeKalb County expects by January to approve school closings to reduce the number of “empty seats” — as many as 16,000, or more than 500 classrooms — over the next six years. At-risk schools are clustered primarily in southwest, central and east DeKalb. (The math seems a little fuzzy, as individual schools’ numbers do NOT necessarily add up to the totals printed on maps released Friday. No one said you’d have to do math to close schools, right?)

Beverly Hall, ATL school superintendent: $400,298

Beverly Hall, ATL school superintendent: $400,298
October 19, 2009 --

Lean times have forced unpaid furloughs and reduced bonuses on some educators, but they haven’t hit Beverly Hall’s pocketbook. She will earn more than $400,000 this year in salary, bonuses and other benefits, including a car.

High court: DeKalb voters must approve arts center bonds (Sembler, too?)

High court: DeKalb voters must approve arts center bonds (Sembler, too?)
September 29, 2009 --

The Georgia Supreme Court ruled Monday that DeKalb County’s development authority needs voter approval to sell bonds to pay off debt on a new performing arts center. But the impact of the decision could be much broader, requiring a public referendum for virtually any bond issue, including a controversial proposal to help the Sembler Co. complete its Town of Brookhaven mixed-use project with tens of millions of dollars in tax breaks.

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.

Developer seeking tax break gave $45K to DeKalb political races

June 10, 2009 --

The developer asking DeKalb County for a controversial $52 million tax break dumped $45,800 into the 2008 political campaigns of the officials who may make the call. The buzz in DeKalb has centered on nearly $20,000 in donations by The Sembler Co., its executives and family members, to school board member Gene Walker. Walker, who […]