If you thought criminal indictments would never come in APS cheating scandal, think again. Indictments coming.

I had my doubts that any APS officials would ever be criminally indicted for the cheating scandal given how long it has taken,  but I may be proven wrong.

According to the AJC:

Fulton County prosecutors are close to seeking indictments in the Atlanta Public Schools test-cheating scandal, lawyers familiar with the probe said.

Defense attorneys representing some educators are being told criminal charges could be filed soon and that more than two dozen people could be indicted. That would answer questions that have hung over the inquiry since its start: Would the cheating be treated as a crime, and who would be prosecuted?

The Fulton District Attorney’s Office has spent more than 18 months investigating cheating on the 2009 Criterion-Referenced Competency Test.

In July 2011, three special investigators found cheating on standardized tests occurred at 44 Atlanta schools and involved 178 educators, including 38 principals. That probe, initiated by Gov. Sonny Perdue, was launched after multiple articles in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution raised questions about the validity of APS test scores when some dramatically rose or fell beyond what would normally be expected.

On Monday, Decatur lawyer Bob Rubin said prosecutors have told him they will be presenting the criminal case to the grand jury soon. “From my conversations with the District Attorney’s Office, it is my understanding that criminal charges will be filed as early as this week,” said Rubin, who represents a number of educators. “I expect a large number of people to be indicted, unfortunately.”

Fulton District Attorney Paul Howard has no comment on the investigation, a spokeswoman said Monday.

Atlanta attorney Michael Kramer, who represents 13 current and former Atlanta principals, said an assistant district attorney told him that prosecutors are reviewing files of 26 educators. Potential charges would include racketeering accusations, likely against high-ranking APS administrators, he said. “That would indicate to me that they’re likely to be going from the top down,” said Kramer, who didn’t expect his clients to be charged. “Until they issue it, we just don’t know.”

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

53 comments Add your comment

mountain man

March 25th, 2013
7:21 pm

Most unfortunately will be teachers while the ADMINISTRATORS who treatened them with their jobs if they did not cheat will get away unscathed. And the grand demon lady of all – Beverly Hall, will NEVER be indicted.

Justice Denied

March 25th, 2013
8:07 pm

The THUG Leadership provided by Hall & Augustine which created this entire disgraceful chapter in our city’s history will go unpunished!!! Just Watch…Don’t get giddy!!

Georgia

March 25th, 2013
8:13 pm

If we don’t cheat, then we lose the government teet! (the straw of logic that broke the camel of discretion’s back)

sapientia et veritas

March 25th, 2013
8:15 pm

Will SACS’ role in providing cover for Hall be exposed?

Bernie

March 25th, 2013
8:15 pm

Such of notices of News is never welcomed with a smile. Only regret!

Pride and Joy

March 25th, 2013
8:21 pm

This is awesome news!
Like another breath of fresh air after the b ig gulp of clean air we breathed when the Dekalb Shool BOE was suspended and replaced.
New life is growing and just in time for Easter.
This news is definitlely something I’ll say a prayer of thanks for.

Pride and Joy

March 25th, 2013
8:24 pm

MM and Justic, the prosecutors aren’t talking so maybe Hall and Augustine really will be indicted. I am praying for it.
But to your point, those two have already stolen so much money from tax payers and cheated kids out of an education that even if they were indicted, thousands of souls and millions of dollars have been squandered.
I want Obama to take his award back from Hall, the one he gave for being a great super.
Hall needs to feel disgraced.

NTLB

March 25th, 2013
8:26 pm

Let the indictments begin! It is a travesty if we allow all those involved in the cheating scandal to continue living in freedom at the expense of the APS students’ scarred futures. Let’s face it, a lot of APS teachers are not in it for the students but yet in it to receive those bloated paychecks and maintain their current lifestyles. There are STILL plenty of rotten apples currently working and teaching in APS.

Pride and Joy

March 25th, 2013
8:26 pm

HOT NEWS FLASH
The proposed Lakeside City had a meeting at TUcker Middle School tonight.
It was NOT standing room only. All the standing room was gone too.
ANd..people like me were turned away at the door.
EVen the people at Main Street diner were abuzz with the possibilities.

DLM

March 25th, 2013
9:02 pm

Forsyth County students did GREAT and didn’t need to cheat. This is just more reason for North Fulton to County to separate from South Fulton, which drags everybody down.

Tired

March 25th, 2013
9:29 pm

Nothing surprises me anymore. The AJC’s own front page shows Sen. Mike Crane actually, undeniably smirking at having denied women insurance coverage for abortion. I imagine the North Fulton folks will all-out fist bump at APD indictments.

Centrist

March 25th, 2013
9:59 pm

About time – just before the statute of limitations run out.

I hope it is the unrepentant proven liars who get nailed.

Georgia

March 25th, 2013
10:01 pm

This brings up the issue of when will Maureen Downey be indicted for her role in the entire education mess? She always has to shove every controversy into everyone’s face and then she has the temerity to invite investigations and opinions. I’m a baby boomer. I’m sixty two stinking years old, and I’ve never seen a woman as brazen as M.D. And I was at Woodstock, man.

There is only one journalist working for the AJC, and her name is MD.

living in an outdated ed system

March 25th, 2013
10:35 pm

Beverly Hall must be indicted or else this is just a major miscarriage of justice. If a teacher was coerced or pressured to change scores, then they should NOT be liable. The guilt lies with the administrators who established the culture of fear and pressure for test scores.

Bernie

March 25th, 2013
10:46 pm

Maureen, Forgive my not remembering. But did you not report a few weeks back a news story concerning Michael Thurmond’s Plan for presenting a detailed written plan of his intentions as to where and how he plans to right the ship of the Dekalb County School System?

I do believe Mr. Thurmond has either forgotten his statement or he does not plan to present a written Plan as promised. Surely your fine reporting on such a topic, would never be remiss in overlooking or disregarding such a promise of delivery of such importance. Especially when so many Parents,staff,students,political leaders and other interested parties have invested so much of their time and efforts to insure that matters are being dealt with as promised.

TheGoldenRam

March 25th, 2013
11:15 pm

Wow. I figured that indictments were coming because Errol Davis was quoted at the beginning of the school year as saying “another shoe may drop”. What I most certainly didn’t expect were RICO racketeering charges. People can face some REALLY long prison sentences on a RICO conviction. Decades long. That’s why they go after mobsters and drug kingpins with that law. If the DA does push RICO, this story is going to blow wide open. People will be scrambling for cover and position, and the information floodgates are going to open up. This is going to be very, very interesting to watch.

Lynn43

March 25th, 2013
11:18 pm

Tired, Mike Crane is a horrible person. He hates public schools and will do nothing to help. People without female reproductive organs should NOT have the authority to make laws governing them. Republicans, stop this war on women.

Bernie

March 25th, 2013
11:31 pm

Lynn43 @ 11:18 pm – this is an illness that is most common to republican Men in America. They Hate and despise the American woman. They seek only her dominance and control by any means necessary. Right now its being acted upon through Healthcare. This action of restriction and control would never be accepted or even tried with the MALE species. He would not succeed on any level.
Just mention the two most Vehemently hated words, that will make them all RUN and tremble in fear. GUN CONTROL!

Those two words alone inject unimaginable rage and anger. Maybe women should start feeling the same way about the care and health decisions of their own bodies. What War on women they will plead of you…There is NO War on women..The War is over, they (The Republicans) are only doing as they please! However, come the mid term election, we will remember such acts of COWARDICE
by today’s CLOWN POSSE members down at the Dome.

TheGoldenRam

March 25th, 2013
11:35 pm

If I were Beverly Hall, I’d be terrified by the mention of RICO. RICO primarily targets the “leaders” of crime syndicates. In addition to all of the prison time, it’s also common to freeze the defendant’s assets immediately and then to seek forfeiture of all “ill-gotten gains” from the enterprise concurrent with conviction.

I’ll make a prediction. If she gets slapped with a RICO charge, she’ll end up pleading out to less serious charges and agree to major financial restitution. At her age a long sentence could be a life sentence.

Fred ™

March 26th, 2013
12:38 am

mountain man

March 25th, 2013
7:21 pm

Most unfortunately will be teachers while the ADMINISTRATORS who treatened them with their jobs if they did not cheat will get away unscathed. And the grand demon lady of all – Beverly Hall, will NEVER be indicted.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I believe that about covers it. And on the first post too lol. Nothing else needs be said.

Fred ™

March 26th, 2013
12:39 am

I imagine the North Fulton folks will all-out fist bump at APD indictments.

Civilized people don’t “fist bump.”

CRIME PAYS

March 26th, 2013
6:32 am

Augustine and Hall will walk, while other will pay!!!!

catlady

March 26th, 2013
8:21 am

I for one hope fervently that the indictments will start at the very top. There was an expectation that educators would show miracles, whether or not they happened. A common teacher (and I don’t say this with disdain) could not have orchestrated this level of perfidy!

catlady

March 26th, 2013
8:25 am

IF I HAD WANTED TO (and I don’t because I don’t put much stock in the CRCT) I could not have tampered with them after they were given unless the testing coordinator had not followed the state protocol.

Mountain Man

March 26th, 2013
8:31 am

The people at the top are clever (not smart). They know that while cheating is illegal, threatening someone’s job is NOT illegal. Either you become Superteacher or we will fire you. I expect you to make bricks without straw, turn sows’ ears into silk purses. You had better come up with a way of bringing these students, most of which are several grades behind due to social promotion, up to grade level, while they are absent 30% of the school year and your class is constantly disrupted by discipline cases that the ADMINISTRATORS will not help with or allow you to discipline. You either do it or we will not renew your contract, which not only cuts you out of THIS job, but restricts your ENTIRE career. JUST DO IT, you dang teachers! Leave me alone in my office.

Chamblee Dad

March 26th, 2013
8:32 am

Obviously the true victims are the children cheated out of an education they didn’t get, many of them the most in need for more help, and there is no way any criminal action can repair that. BUT there will be no true justice at all if Beverly Hall is not punished criminally, & I’m afraid she will be walking away untouched. I hope I’m wrong.

Mountain Man

March 26th, 2013
8:33 am

If Paul Howard DOES NOT indict Beverly Hall, he should be removed from office!

Jono

March 26th, 2013
8:38 am

Getting a Fulton County jury to convict might be a hurdle.

concerned citizen

March 26th, 2013
9:47 am

Can anyone please report on the meeting at Tucker Middle last night?

Maude

March 26th, 2013
10:48 am

What took so long?? These cheaters will hopefully get the greatest punishment allowed by law. No, I do not buy the administrators made them do it. You have free will and should know right from wrong. Would these same teachers blaming the administrators killed someone because they were told to.

OriginalProf

March 26th, 2013
11:52 am

TheGoldenRam at 11:15 pm and 11:35 pm yesterday alerts us to an important aspect of this case that isn’t mentioned in the summary above, but is included in the full news story: RICO racketeering changes are being sought in the APS cheating case. I agree that this is significant. It also explains why this case has seemed to take so long to come to court, for those are very serious federal criminal charges for which a long time is needed to build the evidence. Thanks, TheGoldenRam, for reminding us of this.

For those here predicting cynically that Beverly Hall and other top administrators will escape while the lowly teachers are punished—-just wait!

20/20

March 26th, 2013
12:28 pm

I hope I am selected for jury duty.

mountain man

March 26th, 2013
12:48 pm

“For those here predicting cynically that Beverly Hall and other top administrators will escape while the lowly teachers are punished—-just wait!”

OK, I will wait – but I am not holding my breath – I might die of asphyxiation!

mountain man

March 26th, 2013
12:49 pm

“Getting a Fulton County jury to convict might be a hurdle.”

A Fulton County jury could not even sentence Brian Nichols to death!

The Parent Advocate

March 26th, 2013
1:02 pm

Atlanta has a short memory, it appears that more will get away from the worst cheating scandal in history and one of the largest attacks on our children! We have not charged Hall, the Board is still sitting there and some even have the nerve to want to run again. Let us not forget the over 6,000 children (that we know of), the threat of SACS accreditation loss and the list goes on. What is the worst thing is this Board, the chair and the vice chair during that time are still there and instead of running them off the Board, they are able to walk out with plush jobs in city hall, but the children who were cheated are probably on the way to take their GED, have dropped out, are struggling to finish at best or are on their way to jail, Because that is where students who have been failed by there parents, school system, Board members and community end up! Where is the voice of the people? Oh, that’s right everyone has forgotten, but you will remember, and I hope it is not when one of these children we ALL have failed has a gun or knife pointed at us! What will you think of Hall, this Board and the business community then?

Pride and Joy

March 26th, 2013
3:13 pm

I beg to differ with you. YES, it is illegal to fire someone if they will not perform a crime at your request.
I think you and other teachers are overreacting.
Yes, of course the leaders will be and are in all kinds of trouble. The mantra that the teachers are innocent martyrs and the administrators are all devils who will go unpunished just isn’t accurate and truthfully, it sounds a lot like whining.
No one threatened a teacher with her life if she or he didn’t cheat. Only their job might have been threatened. I’ve lost a job because I refused to lie and bill my clients for more hours than I worked and I got canned. I got another job, a better one, and never looked back.
People with real educations, real dedication and real ethics don’t ever have to worry about permanently losing employment.
There just is no excuse to cheat unless someone is holding a gun to your child’s head.

Pride and Joy

March 26th, 2013
4:31 pm

Indictments don’t START at the very top. That’s useless.
What the prosecution is doing, which they should be doing is indicting the second tier criminals (principals and teachers) and if found guilty, offer plea bargains to the second tier in exchange for informatoin that leads to indicting and prosecuting the head mob leader (Hall).
Calls for only punishing Hall and Augustine are ridiculous.
Hitler didn’t kill all the Jews and infirm and mentally retarded innocent children all by himself. It took an army of evil men willing to do it for him for a little reward and power.
It’s the same here with the APS cheating. Hall and Augustine couldn’t do it alone. They had to have hundreds of people more than willing to do the dirty work and they DESERVE to go to jail along with Halll and Augustine.

Truth

March 26th, 2013
4:54 pm

Parent Advocate you are so right! I would love to meet you to start the revolution to get rid of that entire APS Board. Yes, Lachandra Butler Burks has a good job across the street at City Hall in the Recr ation Department. Kasim Reed should be ashamed.

The DEEP Pockets of Taxpayers

March 26th, 2013
6:35 pm

I understand that Hall’s expenses for defense are payed for by APS. APS board mmebers should put an immediate halt to the use of tax payer dollars to defend criminal allegations. Of course, we all know that will never happen.

mountain man

March 27th, 2013
6:55 am

Indictments? What indictments? I have not seen any indictments. Indictments are coming? They are not even breathing hard.

chillywilly

March 27th, 2013
4:34 pm

Dr. Beverly Hall should be the FIRST person indicted. After Hall’s indictment, they need to indict some of those overpaid, under performing folks in Finance.

Truth in Moderation

March 27th, 2013
9:32 pm

“Obviously the true victims are the children cheated out of an education they didn’t get, many of them the most in need for more help, and there is no way any criminal action can repair that.”

The CRCT’s are “high stakes” tests. THIS IS A LEGAL DESIGNATION. If cheating is proven, then all students whose tests were altered CAN FILE A CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT AND SUE THE STATE FOR DAMAGES!
They most certainly have LEGAL standing to sue FOR DAMAGE DONE.
The lawyers should be LINING UP!

Truth in Moderation

March 27th, 2013
9:38 pm

It has reached the point that public schools can no longer afford CRIMINAL LIABILITY. The taxpayers need to shut them DOWN! There are direct consequences for years of CRIMINAL activities that go UNPUNISHED. CITIZENS HAVE HAD IT.
TEACHERS WHO DO NOT DO WHAT IS RIGHT BECAUSE THEY FEAR LOSING A PAYCHECK DESERVE TO LOSE THEIR JOB.
It is the teacher who stands between CORRUPTION and the students. You are there and see it every day. If you have SAID NOTHING and DONE NOTHING, you are worth NOTHING. You certainly are not worthy to be called a teacher.

Truth in Moderation

March 27th, 2013
10:04 pm

While we’re on the subject of government and CRIMINAL INDICTMENTS, let’s look beyond the POND FISH to the LIBOR WHALE (not to be outdone by the LONDON one)!

“So to recap: hundreds of emails are in the hands of prosecutors and regulators showing that Libor was “readily and pervasively rigged.” JPMorgan and Citigroup are deeply implicated. George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer in the U.K. has flatly stated that “twenty banks on three continents” engaged in the manipulation. Gary Gensler, the head of the CFTC that is charged with regulating the trading of derivatives in the U.S. and opened the investigation in the spring of 2008, is convinced the rigging of Libor continued through last year and that the benchmark is now a fictitious gauge measuring nonexistent loans between banks.

Despite all this, the U.S. Justice Department has charged only three foreign banks after five years of investigations while the charade of setting Libor continues.”
ht tp://wallstreetonparade.com/2013/03/is-the-justice-department-conspiring-on-the-libor-conspiracy/

Why should lowly citizens be concerned with the LIBOR rate, you ask?

“Libor is an interest rate index that impacts the family budget in significant ways. It controls approximately $10 trillion in consumer loans around the globe, including adjustable rate mortgages, credit cards and student loans here in the U.S. According to emails obtained by prosecutors, in some cases prior to 2007, Libor was rigged higher, which would have caused higher interest rates on consumer loans tied to Libor.

Libor is also the index used to establish cash payments on interest rate swaps sold to our state, county, and city municipal governments and SCHOOL DISTRICTS across America and around the globe.”
ht tp://wallstreetonparade.com/2012/07/libor-scandal-made-simple-its-about-illegal-proprietary-trading/

Is this the real reason the Mayor of N.Y. wants to grab your guns?
“What the complaint makes clear is that it should not have taken five years to bring these charges. The traders effectively handed the Justice Department a slam dunk case by documenting each maneuver to rig the international interest rate benchmark known as Libor via instant messages recorded on a Bloomberg computer terminal. There were thousands of these messages over at least a five year period. Three questions arise: did Wall Street engage in a legal battle to prevent the release of these communications on the basis of trade secrets or proprietary/confidential trading communications; did the Bloomberg business empire, owned by Michael Bloomberg, the Mayor of New York City, immediately turn over the instant messages when requested to do so; why did traders feel their criminal messages would be protected on a Bloomberg computer terminal?”

“New York City’s Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, owes his billionaire status to Wall Street. There are currently an estimated 290,000 Bloomberg data terminals on Wall Street trading floors and offices around the globe, generating approximately $1500 in rental fees per terminal per month. That’s a cool $435 million a month or $5.2 billion a year, the cash cow of the Bloomberg businesses.”
ht tp://wallstreetonparade.com/2012/12/why-was-libor-rate-rigging-committed-over-the-bloomberg-terminal/

George

March 28th, 2013
11:06 am

No they are not Criminals ,They wanted to make something that is not there.Punish from the top that is where the real criminal lies big moma.

James Cann

March 28th, 2013
11:21 am

I think the rest of the nation will be expecting Beverly Hall to be charged. If she escapes any punishment, then this whole thing is rigged.

APS Concern

March 28th, 2013
11:35 am

I do hope that justice will prevail for the children. Dr. Hall, administrators, teachers need to held accountable for their actions. They all new what they were doing and just got caught!! I agree the board should not be paying any legal fees. What message does that send? YOu can do wrong but we will still cover you!!!!

winstonchurchhill

March 28th, 2013
11:53 am

After reading all of the comments I will merely say that education for those children was not at all at the forefront. Money was…and it begins with Ms. Beverly Hall. She knew a lot and she made a lot of money during time she served. Regardless what people are saying be it good or bad this entire situations rest with her and I am sure it will come to that even if many of those teachers are now center in this investigation as well.

JANET

March 28th, 2013
11:56 am

GO FOR THE TOP ADMINISTRATORS , WHICH INCLUDES DR HALL,HER BUDDIES, THE AREA COORDINATORS AND THE PRINICIPALS. Make them pay!!! It is not fair that so many were able to retire and not touched at all. It makes me sick to see that those teachers are having to pay and not the administrators.

TIME IS UP—-PAY BACK IS NOT FUN!!

williebkind

March 28th, 2013
12:39 pm

Lynn43

March 25th, 2013
11:18 pm

Bernie

March 25th, 2013
11:31 pm
You both are liars. So what garbage you spew means nothing. Incantations huh!