Exactly three years ago today, I requested records of credit card statements for former Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill. A week or two later, after someone let it slip that the sheriff’s office had a bank account that other county officials didn’t know about, I asked for those records too.
I’m still waiting. Legally, though, there’s no valid reason that I should be.
Chris Mathis, the elected chief magistrate of Floyd County, today queued up in the lengthening line of Georgia judges who have resigned while under investigation for misconduct. He reportedly stepped down after meeting with Richard Hyde, investigator for the state Judicial Qualifications Commission.
Pearlene Williams, retired chief of staff to Atlanta Police Chief Richard Pennington, pleaded not guilty today to smuggling a cellphone into the DeKalb County Jail. She faces felony charges of furnishing contraband to an inmate and violating her oath of office. Her son, Muhammad Kareem, was an inmate being held for the 2007 murder of a Covington Highway pawn shop manager.
DeKalb County schools’ multimillion-dollar damage suit over construction cost overruns may be undermined by a criminal probe of school contracts. Lawyers for a fired construction management firm, Heery/Mitchell, are scheduled to question the schools’ chief operating officer, Pat Pope, on Wednesday. Heery/Mitchell wants to hear what Pope knows about a criminal investigation of her handling of school construction contracts.
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.
Patricia Pope, DeKalb County schools’ embattled chief operations officer, is officially out as the district’s construction manager, at least temporarily. Officials have insisted Pope is still the system’s COO even as a criminal investigation of school construction programs has ramped up. Pope may still be COO, but a new interim construction boss, Barbara Colman, is named in a proposal to be presented tonight to the DeKalb Board of Education.
An inquiry into DeKalb County schools’ construction contracts continues, with no hint as to how much longer it will take. District Attorney Gwen Keyes-Fleming has said virtually nothing about the case since Superintendent Crawford Lewis sent her results of an internal review in February. “The case is complex and enormous in scope which is resulting in an extended investigation. We will share our findings when we complete the investigation,” Keyes-Fleming said Friday in a e-mailed statement.