On February 14, 2012, DeKalb School Watch sent the following e-mail to each member of the DeKalb County School System Board of Education:
Please tell us if you personally met with District Attorney Robert James, to discuss alleged wrongdoing by DeKalb County School System Board of Education (BOE) members, before James made his decision to NOT empanel a special grand jury (as requested by the November-December 2011 DeKalb County Grand Jury) to investigate the BOE. Yes or No.
This request is made under Georgia’s Open Meetings Act.
If your answer is “yes” please also tell us:
1. When (date, time);
2. Where (place);
3. How (individually, in a group [who else was in the group?], on the phone, via e-mail);
4. What (topics discussed).
We know that District Attorney Robert James did NOT talk with Nancy Jester or Don McChesney even though James implied that he spoke with all the BOE members — telling a half-truth with that implication.
“A half-truth is a deceptive statement that includes some element of truth. The statement might be partly true, the statement may be totally true but only part of the whole truth, or it may utilize some deceptive element, such as improper punctuation, or double meaning, especially if the intent is to deceive, evade, blame, or misrepresent the truth.” [Merriam-Webster].
The fact the the DeKalb District Attorney cannot be trusted to speak plainly and truthfully to DeKalb citizens and taxpayers certainly goes right to the center of the organized corruption entangling DeKalb County and DeKalb County School System (DCSS).
Bowen, Copelin-Woods, Cunningham, Edler, Speaks, Walker and Womack have not opened the e-mail they received and, though required by law to respond, have not responded. (We know this because the e-mails were tracked.) It was a simple question, asked by taxpayers — a simple question put to elected officials that should not require legal enforcement to get an answer. Boldly ignoring the law like this is usually an indicator of widespread, organized corruption.
What Is Corruption?
Corruption may be defined as the use of power by government officials for illegitimate private gain. Forms of corruption vary, but include bribery, extortion, cronyism and nepotism (i.e., the DCSS Friends-and-Family Plan), patronage, graft and embezzlement. Corruption may facilitate criminal enterprise such as that covered by the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). Crawford Lewis and Pat Pope are still awaiting trial on RICO charges. Others are waiting in the wings — or should be. Pat Pope has said she is not going down alone.
Corruption flourishes where there is inappropriate involvement of closed cliques (in DCSS, African-American sororities and fraternities); a tradition of “tribal solidarity,” including nepotism and favoritism, discrimination and bullying; a provision of benefits to certain ethnic groups; and low literacy and education among the population.
In short, corruption undermines democracy, reduces accountability, distorts representation and results in inefficient, costly and ineffective provision of public services, such as education. Corruption reduces the legitimacy of government and kills trust and tolerance, upon which a democratic society is based.