Perdue names former AG Mike Bowers and former DeKalb DA Bob Wilson special investigators in APS/Dougherty CRCT mess

Official word that the governor has tapped a dynamic duo — one Democrat and one Republican — to look into the CRCT investigations done by Atlanta and Dougherty.

Perdue appointed former DeKalb County District Attorney Bob Wilson and former Georgia Attorney General Mike Bowers as Special Investigators to look into testing irregularities on the 2009 CRCT administration at Atlanta Public Schools and Dougherty County School System.

According to the official release:

Governor Perdue told the State Board of Education on Wednesday that he would take this step after the reports submitted by Atlanta Public Schools and Dougherty County School System were deemed to be incomplete.

Michael J. Bowers: Michael J. Bowers former Attorney General of Georgia, is a Partner at Balch & Bingham LLC. He joined the firm in September of 1998, concentrating in general civil litigation. He became Partner in January of 2000. Georgia Trend Magazine named Mike as one of the 100 Most Influential Georgians from their beginning in 1990 through 1997 and again in 2003. Mike currently serves as Chairman of the Georgia Judicial Nominating Commission. Upon obtaining his law degree, Mike accepted a position with the State of Georgia Attorney General’s Office, where he worked until he was appointed Attorney General of Georgia in 1981. Mike was reelected four times and served as Attorney General until June of 1997, when he resigned from office in order to seek the Republican nomination for Governor. Bowers served in the United States Air Force from 1963-1970, when he joined the Air National Guard, from which he retired in 1997 at the rank of Major General. From 1994 to 1997, he served as Chair of the National Guard Bureau’s Counterdrug Board in Washington, D.C. Mike and his wife, Bette Rose, are the parents of three grown children and reside in Commerce.

Robert E. “Bob” Wilson: Bob Wilson received a B.S. degree from the University of North Carolina in 1970 and is a 1974 graduate of Emory University School of Law. In 1978, Wilson was appointed Chief Public Defender for DeKalb County, a position he held until resigning to run for District Attorney. Bob was first elected District Attorney for the Stone Mountain Judicial Circuit in 1980 by defeating an incumbent. As District Attorney, Bob was twice re-elected without opposition. While District Attorney, Bob established Georgia’s first Child Abuse Prosecution Unit, first Career Criminal Prosecution Unit as well as one of Georgia’s first Victim Assistance Programs. In 1998 Bob was one of the founders of the firm of Wilson, Morton & Downs, LLC, located in Decatur, where he practices law today. In 1992 Bob was appointed by then Governor Zell Miller as a Special Assistant Attorney General to investigate the business practices in Georgia of Fleet Finance, Inc., a subsidiary of one of America’s largest financial institutions.  After conducting one of the most extensive civil investigations ever undertaken by the State of Georgia, Mr. Wilson negotiated a settlement valued in excess of $100 million between the State of Georgia and Fleet Finance.  At the time, this settlement was the largest by any state against a single company under an unfair and deceptive acts and practices statute in United States history. During his legal career, Bob has served the State of Georgia and his local community in many capacities and received numerous awards and honors. Bob was co-founder and first Chair of the Board of Directors of the Georgia Center for Children, Inc., a non-profit organization that provides counseling for sexually-abused children (now known as the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy).  He was also a founding member of the DeKalb Rape Crisis Center, Inc., a non-profit organization that provides assistance and counseling to adult sexual assault victims, and served as first Chairman of its Board of Directors. Bob is an active volunteer in the Boy Scouts of America and has served on the Executive Board of the Atlanta Area Council since 1983. In 2001 Bob was a founding member of the Decatur Education Foundation for the City Schools of Decatur, a non-profit organization that nurtures and supports enrichment opportunities and educational achievement for children and youth, and served as its first Chair of the Board until the Spring of 2004. Bob and his wife Lynda live in Decatur and have two sons, Alex and Matthew, and a daughter, Sarah Elizabeth.


82 comments Add your comment

Essential Questions

August 20th, 2010
4:39 pm

Are they committed to the following

Finding out what Beverly Hall knew, and when did she know it?

Finding out what Beverly Hall should have known, and when should she have known it?

Is there any evidence of obstruction or of coverup?

Will they offer any deals to low level administrators or office assistants to find out what the highest levels of the APS inner sanctum really knew?

Are they willing to subpoena phone/email records of Hall and other members of the inner sanctum?

Essential Questions

August 20th, 2010
4:44 pm

And the same questions need to asked of the leaders of the Dougherty County School System as well.

Marilyn Carter

August 20th, 2010
4:49 pm

Michael Bowers was involved in a scandal years ago about an affair with his secretary. He should not have been appointed to this panel, I do not know anything about Bob Wilson hopefully he is honet. I do believe that Beverly Hall should go she should have known what was going on , and she is paid alot of money to be held accountable regardless. She should have told her employees to be honest from the start it looks bad no matter how you cut it.

ed

August 20th, 2010
4:50 pm

Those who have held the top school system positions in DeKalb and Clayton counties, and the City of Atlanta are a disgrace before the students, parents, and faculties of this once highly regarded metropolitan area. If for no other reason than to have cast these three systems into a state of disrepute they should resign. I am sick to death of hearing those who whine about their civl rights in this nation while ignoring the most precious birthright of our young people…an excellent education to see them through life.

Monkey Business

August 20th, 2010
4:51 pm

No doubt you’ll hear howls of racism since neither of them are black. I just hope they conduct a fair and thorough investigation and make the fact available for the public to make up its mind about what really happened. The children of Atlanta are watching and learning from this whole sorry episode.

bootney farnsworth

August 20th, 2010
4:54 pm

how long will it take for someone in Hall’s camp to bring up
Bowers marital issues and the firing the lesbian thing?

just as soon as he gets near something damning

Georgian

August 20th, 2010
4:56 pm

So, Mike Bowers is always going to be considered an immoral person because he had an affair with his secretary many years ago. Give me $10,000 to hire a retired FBI agent as a private investigator and I will dig up enough dirt on anyone to disgrace them. No one is perfect. One mistake outshines a thousand honorable deeds. Get off your high horse Ms. Carter.

Maureen? Maureen?

August 20th, 2010
5:01 pm

Let’s hope they ask better follow up question than the suddenly nameless people at the AJC did of Hall in her interview today? Were they not some of the weakest watered down questions you have ever seen, considering the scope and seriousness of this investigation?

Ray

August 20th, 2010
5:34 pm

I am a little torn on this issue. I beleive that those found guilty where evidence warrants should definetely be punished. However, I have a feeling that some of Beverly Hall’s critics have a personal ax to grind. She has critized (and rightly so) the quality of the teaching programs at some of the colleges, some parents and teachers believe she is re-segrating the schools on the north side, and she has replaced principals at failing schools. Her actions have ruffled a lot of feathers.

Both the politicians and business community realize what an asset a improving school system plays in attracting new jobs and residents and both have invested heavily. Shirley Franklin used to go on the radio every year to announce job fairs for the students( along with her other efforts in supporting the APS). The business community provided laptops as well as other resources. Not even the govenor can deny that the schools are substaitnailly better than before Beverly Halls tenure.

I just hope the investigation is fair and not driven by hysterics displayed at press conferences, or ineffective little known politicians who have been in office for years with few accomplishments with an axe to grind.

Ed #2

August 20th, 2010
5:37 pm

“Georgian” is right on target. Mike Bowers is the perfect person to get to the bottom of this disgraceful issue.

Ed #2

August 20th, 2010
5:39 pm

Enter your comments here

You guys did a great job. Stay on top of it and keep up the good work.

HStchr

August 20th, 2010
5:44 pm

Like anyone in either system is going to point fingers where they should be pointed. In the end, the classroom teachers (the most expendable and easiest to threaten) will be the only ones fired. I have very little doubt heads higher up will ever roll for their part in this.

Politicians as Polecats

August 20th, 2010
5:48 pm

I guess Perdue’s List, My Name Is Perdue, will allow this political favor to be repaid en masse to Republican candidates. 1.Bring attention and Republican rallying by having another investigation on a subject that no one cares so passionately about as a mid-term Republican with children in private schools.
The unintended item on list…1. Demonstrate the lack of vision my party has and by doing so providing public funds to be further depleted so my opponent, Roy Barnes, will have even less funds to actually help people throughout the state.
This is how a part of the state’s budget is funneled to a small and unmerited few simply because the press chooses to pander to “Sonny’s Fish Farm”.

Lynn2

August 20th, 2010
5:51 pm

Why doesn’t someone investigate the backgrounds of both of these two? Bob Wilson has been involved in wrongful acts with documented tape evidence and Michael Bowers besides his affair has also participated in violations of state law while acting as Attorney General.

Really Sonny? In the entire state you couldn’t find two better to investigate this scandal. Their credentials consist of doing whatever it takes to reach the predetermined outcome (as dictated by a past governor) whether legal or not.

Politicians as Polecats

August 20th, 2010
6:02 pm

We don’t care what Boo-boo Bowers did. People are stupid everywhere. We do care about unnessecary B.S. sessions and investigations. When you have no vision and can not come up with a REAL plan on helping society, (your own socio-economic strata does not qualify). Remember when Larry Flynt called the holier-than-thou politicians on their psuedo rightiousness and ethics? Where is Larry when you need him?

Czan

August 20th, 2010
6:04 pm

It seems that the AJC has a personal axe to grind with Beverly Hall.

And for those calling for Dr. Hall’s head – be careful what you wish for. Running a large urban school district, where the overwhelming majority of the students come from below the poverty line – something to the tune of 36,000 out of 48,000 – is not as easy as some folks seem to imply. Dr. Hall clearly could & should have handled this situation better, and been out in front of the story earlier in the process, rather than being reactionary.

But the positive change she’s brought about during her tenure and the relative stability she’s introduced cannot be easily discounted. She’s engaged the business community and has begun to change the perception of many of the schools. More parents in Atlanta that have the means to send their kids to private schools are beginning to consider APS schools as an actual possiblity. Perhaps this is more concentrated in the Grady/N. Atlanta clusters, but it’s a start.

APS is not Dekalb, and certainly not Clayton. It may never mirror it’s North Fulton, Gwinnett, Fayette, East/North Cobb brethren, but to have at least a few stellar clusters would be a huge, transformational change for Atlanta. And I think it’s on the right path. There’s visible improvement in the air at Carver, Therrell, Douglas, Washington, etc..

It’s not to say that if Dr. Hall is removed, things would revert, but is Atlanta willing to take that chance?

Lynn43

August 20th, 2010
6:11 pm

The only issue should be is “are they going to be “pit bulls” (apologies to the real pit bulls) and get the evidence necessary to implicate the guilty parties. If they do this, then no one should care what they did in another life.

Politicians as Polecats

August 20th, 2010
6:16 pm

Lynn43, what do you mean by “issue should be is “are they going to be “pit bulls”. (Don’t worry, the “real pit bulls” can’t read. News to you I’m sure.) As most christians, I’m sure you want the guilty to pay ten times over, no matter what Christ ever said. But exactly, what IS your point?

thracer

August 20th, 2010
6:29 pm

Great post Czan. My thoughts exactly.

Judy Stroud

August 20th, 2010
6:35 pm

Czan, I beg to differ with you that APS is better than Clayton. Clayton County has good schools, and great educational programs. The teachers in Clayton County stacks up with the best teachers in Gwinett, Cobb, Fayette, and Rockdale. So, APS needs a new change and once its done know one will notice. People come and people go. Georgia best schools are ranked at the bottom. Georgia has been rated below average in education for years. They are 47/50 states in education.

Politicians as Polecats

August 20th, 2010
6:45 pm

Being a native, over-middle-age, white Georgia, I can safely say from my point of view, it is a very sad state of affairs when a state as rich in diversity, resources both raw and utilized, academic stalwarts and people of all races that enjoy their commonality that it can not climb out of it’s staunch worship of ancestors in their personal background to do something constructive. Sherrod contributed more for world peace (the small pebble that creates the ripples of goodness) than Sonny and his crew amassed in almost a decade in one state. Send us a postcard, Sonny.

Springdale Park Elementary Parent

August 20th, 2010
6:47 pm

These are experienced lawyers who chose public service careers. They’re not being asked for their opinions; they’re being asked to gather hard evidence and the testimony of involved parties.

I don’t care about anyone’s sex life, particularly when it’s more exciting than mine (although ethics allegations are always troubling). I’m fine letting these two lawyers to ask questions and report the answers. Is there any reason to believe either man would distort any findings he might make? (Here comes the race card….wait for it…..no? Nothing more from Proud Black Man? Oh wait, it’s Friday….so there must be a new Tyler Perry movie at the cineplex…and attendance is mandatory!)

These 2 dudes won’t let APS sneak central-office spies into interviews to intimidate witnesses. They won’t be blown off by silent, uncooperative employees. They don’t have financial ties to Bev Hall. How are we not better off already?

By the way, Maureen, please invent a new nickname for the Blue Ribbon Panel. Every time I call them that I cringe.

Politicians as Polecats

August 20th, 2010
6:49 pm

AND further more!!!!! My very good friend, though sadly deceased, David Watts OPB of Georgia for Education retired because he knew Govnna Perdue was beyond reason and had an agenda that bode ill for Georgia’s rise in academia. Perdue just didn’t understand. Now, worming pigs….he was great.

chillywilly

August 20th, 2010
6:50 pm

@Czan,

As James Brown would say, “you’re talking loud, but saying nothing”. Dr. Hall is not the only superintendent that can run APS. Sure, there have been some positive changes, but at what cost? It’s not hard to “engage” the business community when you do more than $1million worth of business with them. I support AJC in their efforts to get to the bottom of this travesty. Dr. Hall has looked the other way while managers have sexually abused women right there in the central office. These women have pleaded for help, but APS has failed them; just like they have failed these kids in the schools that cheated.
If Beverly Hall was worth the white on rice, she would step down now. The longer she delays it, the worse it’s going to get. Here’s hoping that Bowers & Wilson conduct a very thorough investigation and indict all of those high paid crooks & rogue educators that have been running games on all of us.

Politicians as Polecats

August 20th, 2010
6:56 pm

Springdale Park Elementary Parent, you are too funny. Unable to mount an arguement without belittling someone you consider beneath you and having to indict an entire race. That’s what so great about bloggs, you can be anyone you want to for 5 minutes and you can even be YOUR IRRATIONAL BIGOTED SELF! You go boy.

Springdale Park Elementary Parent

August 20th, 2010
6:56 pm

Czan, it’s a good post, and Maureen shares your view that asking Bev Hall to leave now would be inviting the law of unintended consequences smack us upside the head.

But Bev’s inability to confront bad news; her instinct to gloss over any problem and her refusal to compel school employees to answer questions during the BRP investigation tell us she is not a leader we can trust. There’s a long list of errors of judgment she’s made during the 2 years since the klaxon horn sounded a cheating alarm at a frequency Bev Hall can’t, apparently, hear. All have been discussed here ad nauseam.

I mean that literally. We are now all, in fact, nauseous about this whole thing.

But Sonny’s been carrying this grudge for a long time, since the first time Bev blew him off. Sonny’s finally getting the last word here, I think.

Question Man

August 20th, 2010
7:07 pm

The Atlanta Public School cheating scandal is getting very interesting, isn’t it? I wonder how many people are beginning to get very nervous (and how many are obtaining lawyers)?

Politicians as Polecats

August 20th, 2010
7:15 pm

Bev Hall was a captain of a ship in a storm and having steered it to calmer waters foments a nascent concern of Republicans ….EDUCATION! LOL. Capt Beverly Hall, in a position to have an education friendly governor, is clearly a target of the Repubilican mackerels dying on deck. But it is tough when your entire crew of deckhands insist on running to and fro en masse to capsize the boat they never had interest in before nor in anyway. I’m uplifted by the “charity” that some parents in better heeled neighborhoods have decided to find interest in their newly adopted communities. Beverly, you are definitely at a disadvantage. You are not of the right skin complexion, you are a woman and the most unforgiving of all, you are rational.

double zero eight

August 20th, 2010
7:21 pm

Sonny got this one right. Wilson and Bowers are the right persons for this job. They will leave no stone unturned. Sonny’s legacy will be enhanced if he cleans up this APS mess. Prior to this, he had no legacy.

The price is not right

August 20th, 2010
8:14 pm

“But the positive change she’s brought about during her tenure and the relative stability she’s introduced cannot be easily discounted.”

Yeah and no one can deny the positive change and relative stability BP brought to the Louisiana oil industry up until the oil spill either.

Polecat makes the case

August 20th, 2010
8:29 pm

“We do care about unnessecary B.S. sessions and investigations”

And this is why Perdue stepped in; the taxpayers just paid for multiple BS “investigations”. At least now we hopefully get a real one.

Polecat is right

August 20th, 2010
8:32 pm

Polecat, the political enemies don’t want to talk about the fact that with the testing protocals that prevented cheating this year, Beverly Hall’s researched based best practices and her leadership were fully vindicated by finishing in the top 170 of ALL school systems in Georgia!

Bill Arp

August 20th, 2010
8:38 pm

@ Georgian: Bowers was a hypocrite, persecuting people under outdated Georgia sex crime laws while he himself was committing adultery, also on the books as against the law (misdemeanor).

That said, he does not need to be a moral authority to conduct a thorough investigation and I think chances are good that he will. But let’s call a spade a spade …

DCSS

August 20th, 2010
8:43 pm

DCSS – Beasley must be investigated too. How many principals bought his book and how much of his other services has he provided on and from DCSS dime? If you did not view his web-site here are the links.

http://www.apassionforleadership.com/DrBeasley.htm
http://spiritoffaithministries.org/our_vision

Also, if this can be placed on face book it might just reveal even more corruption in DCSS.

HStchr

August 20th, 2010
9:24 pm

Czan- but how much of that improvement is real? One has to doubt many numbers if this cheating scandal touches as many as it seems it will and already has. I don’t doubt a major focus of APS’s campaign has been to improve public perception of the schools, but this situation sheds doubt on the system as a whole, and on Hall specifically. If the powers that be would go to such lengths to make tests scores look better than reality proves them to be, what else have they underhandedly done? APS deserves better, the kids deserve better, and a system with the money APS has should be providing better. I think Hall’s original plan was, perhaps, genuine. But if this is the result, new leadership is necessary. The tainted image APS now has under Hall’s leadership will never be glossed over or erased until she steps down. I hate it for the kids and parents who thought they were finally going to get at least a little of the true hard work, dedication, and progress they so definitely deserve. It’s a shame that Hall and her leadership cohorts couldn’t focus on real, attainable improvement instead of playing numbers and resorting to such sad, even pathetic means to make things look good. It’s sad for those schools that have seen real improvement to be shadowed by such clearly bad decision making.

HStchr

August 20th, 2010
9:37 pm

“Beverly, you are definitely at a disadvantage. You are not of the right skin complexion, you are a woman and the most unforgiving of all, you are rational.”

If she’s rational, then I’m the King of the World!!!! Her skin complexion and gender are not, and have not been, an issue with regards to her accomplishments and deficiencies. Those who try to bring them into the discussion are only trying to bait people here. There are many women out there running school systems who have not had the stain of cheating, and then bragging about the results, that Beverly Hall now has. Leave those issues out of the discussion- they’re irrelevant, and do not contribute anything of worth to the discussion. It is pointless to try to throw them out there as reasons for this investigation. The numbers are without race or gender- and the scandal touches all of us as citizens and parents, race notwithstanding.

Georgia sucks!

August 20th, 2010
9:37 pm

I remember when mike bowers was regulating the morals of this pathetic state from his holier than thou pulpit; all the while, this scumbag was banging his secretary on the side. I cannot wait to get out of this hillbilly haven.

Concerned 1

August 20th, 2010
9:37 pm

@Czan…where are you from? Last time I checked only Carver and Washington made AYP. Douglass’ GHSGT scores were lower than all but Crim. Washington transferred in it’s mess to Douglass right before testing. Was there, noticed it. Northside schools could still recruit top students including Carver. IT TOOK 3 1/2 years to get the principal out at Douglass by parents, alumni and teachers. Dr. Hall would do nothing! Violence was rampant! Oh ye of little knowledge…

Jennifer

August 20th, 2010
9:49 pm

Don’t you think this is getting a little out of hand and becoming a side show ?

Jubal

August 20th, 2010
9:54 pm

May my kids will get a fair shake if this scandal is fully exposed. It’s Time for some sunshine at the APS.

Concerned 1

August 20th, 2010
10:18 pm

From an Atlanta native…it was out of hand when all elementary schools in Atlanta made AYP.

WE lost our way

August 20th, 2010
10:34 pm

AS I said before,LET THE GAMES BEGIN !!!! Over the next month this will be a better show than Desperate Housewives! Georgia politics at it’s best.

money

August 20th, 2010
10:36 pm

some of you have lost your freakin mind; Oh, we cant replace her now the system would fall apart.

I guess the same could have been said for Pres. Obama; we are in a war, Bush must stay in office even though term limits exist.

NO ONE PERSON is ever too big to replace.

and how can anyone say some good things have happened. WE DONT KNOW WHEN THE CHEATING STARTED? From the time she started at APS everything has to be questioned. Was any of the gains REAL? Graduation rates ? Discipline reports?

I say NUKE the place and start over.

The Fifth Dimension

August 20th, 2010
10:38 pm

Let the Sunshine in. Let it in. I like Mike Bowers. He’s an old Southwest DeKalb boy. A SWD grad who attended and graduated at West Point. I hope that he ferrets out the truth of the corruption in APS and won’t buy all of the crap dished out by the Hall Administration.

Who has a problem with Morcease Beasley being the World’s Gift of Leadership? You know that he is the Omnipotent Leader of the World, didn’t you? If not, just look at those websites provided by DCSS in a previous post. I see that he came from that bastion of leadership itself, the Birmingham City Schools. I guess that he is a Johnny Brown acolyte. I presumed that he followed Johnny Brown to Port Arthur, Texas. Is he back as a principal in DeKalb? Are we suggesting that he too sold copies of his “book” to those under him? I don’t know. But, someone on this blog keeps dropping hints. I know that through his public websites that he is suggesting that he is the paragon of school and church leadership.

Hopeful

August 20th, 2010
10:45 pm

Why are the other school systems, who reportedly cheated, not being investigated by the State? If the truth was really told, there are probably as many other kinds of inappropriate activites in school systems other than APS, Dekalb and Clayton.Is Atlanta selected because Dr. Hall won the national award? Those who are so quick to crucify need to take a look in their own closets.
As we look around, we see people, who were once regarded as “pillars in their communities”, admitting to all kinds of inappropriate behaviors. I do not condone cheating or similar kinds of wrong activities but our society seems to be slowly deteriorating as honesty and morality seem to have taken a back seat to money and success.

Monk Elgart

August 20th, 2010
10:51 pm

My twin brother ain’t done nothing yet about Atlanta and DeKalb? That doesn’t surprise me. He only did what advanced him…all of our lives. In the womb, he was always pushing me to the side to get all of the food! Always kissed up to those in power and put down the little fellow. I told him that he should change the name from SACS to SUCS. Southern Undertaker of Colleges and Schools. He certainly knows how to kill a college or a school or school system. He seems to enjoy that undertaker role. I’m the nice twin. People like me because I treat everyone the same. Not ole Markie, though. Always had his head up the big shots’ you know what. He’s just a little cry baby.

Dimissal time

August 20th, 2010
11:00 pm

If you read the article Hopeful, instead of going into knee jerk apologist mode, you would realize that Dougherty County is being investigated as well.

That will be all; you’re dismissed.

MACE is like a lazer beam!

August 20th, 2010
11:05 pm

Corrupt Administrators: Once MACE focuses the calcium light of truth on you, you better be scrambling! MACE doesn’t play!

Paradigm shift

August 20th, 2010
11:11 pm

Some people think MACE is too radical, but if MACE had 40,000 members instead of GAE, or 70,000 members instead of PAGE, do you really think teaching conditions would be this bad in Georgia?

Maybe teachers need to look in the mirror, and think about who they let chose to voice their concerns, if they are frustrated that their concerns aren’t being heard.

I_support_the_kids

August 20th, 2010
11:42 pm

I don’t under Mike Bowers selection, APS is his client in the case with the State Supreme Court vs the State Commission. How can you investigate your client?

This seems like a conflict of interest.