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DeKalb school audit found bloated salaries — then what?

February 7, 2011 --

DeKalb County schools paid $341,000 several years back for a salary audit that found they were overpaying employees by millions of dollars a year. Now, school officials can’t seem to locate those findings. So, what happened?

Grand jury indicts 2 top DeKalb school officials

Grand jury indicts 2 top DeKalb school officials
May 26, 2010 --

A DeKalb County grand jury today indicted former school Superintendent Crawford Lewis and Pat Reid, the district’s former chief operating officer, as well as her ex-husband, architect Tony Pope, and her secretary. The indictment alleges $80 million in fraudulently awarded construction contracts, tens of thousands of dollars in sports and theater tickets as bribes, and a taxpayer-funded stay in the Bahamas. The grand jury also charged, without elaboration, that Reid tried to blackmail Lewis.

Lawyers: Was DeKalb schools’ Pat Pope a bigamist?

Lawyers: Was DeKalb schools' Pat Pope a bigamist?
March 16, 2010 --

MULTIPLE CHOICE: When did Pat Pope, a central figure in the criminal investigation of DeKalb County school construction contracts, divorce her first husband?

  • 2001
  • 2003
  • 2006 (after marrying husband #2)

NOT-SO-HELPFUL HINT: At one time or another, she’s cited each of those years as the correct date.

DeKalb school board tables discussion of ethics code

DeKalb school board tables discussion of ethics code
December 8, 2009 --


A combative Eugene Walker on Monday talked the DeKalb County school board into holding off on discussing a proposed ethics code for board members. State Rep. Kevin Levitas last month proposed a state law giving the DeKalb board “a clear set of principles” to follow. Walker, who resigned as chairman of the DeKalb Development Authority this year after controversy over his role there, said Levitas’ proosal “offended” him. “We oughta throw it in the trash,” he said. “I don’t want to hear anything about it.”

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.”

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.

DeKalb blog: ‘Decrepit … disgusting’ conditions at Cross Keys HS

DeKalb blog: 'Decrepit ... disgusting' conditions at Cross Keys HS
July 11, 2009 --

Cross Keys High School was scheduled for a complete makeover in SPLOST II, the DeKalb school system’s last cycle of projects funded by local sales taxes. Other projects ran over budget, and Cross Keys was passed by. Now, DeKalb County School Watch has posted a commentary and photo essay on conditions on the campus, including homeless squatters, classrooms and grounds in disrepair, and antiquated equipment. 

DeKalb spends $170K on bullying probe; written reports remain private

DeKalb spends $170K on bullying probe; written reports remain private
June 29, 2009 --

The DeKalb County school system has paid a retired judge $170,000 — and apparently plans to spend even more — to investigate bullying that’s said to have led to the suicide of a fifth-grader at Dunaire Elementary. But, whatever the school district may learn, its attorneys say the written findings are not subject to public […]

Sembler donations went undisclosed until election was over

Sembler donations went undisclosed until election was over
June 25, 2009 --

By JIM WALLS June 25, 2009 — Eugene Walker failed to disclose nearly $20,000 in campaign donations from a developer seeking a multimillion-dollar tax break until after his Dec. 2 election to the DeKalb County school board. The donations – and Walker’s service on both the school board and the DeKalb Development Authority — have […]

Auditors: Test tampering at schools in ATL, DeKalb, Fulton

June 11, 2009 --

Last fall, DeKalb County school officials could find no improprieties at a Decatur-area elementary where fifth-graders showed phenomenal improvement on a state-mandated math test. Now, state auditors say, the evidence is overwhelming that someone tampered with the tests last summer at Atherton Elementary School in DeKalb and three others in Georgia. Auditors believe “someone who […]

No written report in DeKalb’s $325-an-hour suicide inquiry

No written report in DeKalb's $325-an-hour suicide inquiry
May 22, 2009 --

DeKalb County school officials have no written record of the investigation that exonerates school employees in the April 16 suicide of a Dunaire Elementary fifth-grader. Retired judge Thelma Wyatt Cummings Moore (right) said Wednesday that she found “no evidence of bullying” after interviewing dozens of teachers, parents and students at Dunaire. The mother of 11-year-old […]