More on Lewis and Pope

From CrossRoads News
New indictment against Lewis

“Rather than operating in the best interests of DeKalb County’s children, Lewis, [Pat] Pope and [Tony] Pope stole or facilitated the theft of millions of dollars, performed or approved payment for substandard work, blocked legitimate contractors from receiving or completing contracts, and manipulated projects to meet their own unlawful objectives,” the indictment said.

The new indictment also includes new evidence of e-mails concerning Hawks basketball tickets, letters about Falcons football tickets, and an invoice and check to cover Pope’s legal fees.

It also names Audria Berry as the female employee with whom Lewis allegedly had an affair. It said Lewis used his position to “initiate and facilitate” an affair with Berry, who was then executive director of school improvement under teaching and learning department. Berry is now a second-grade teacher at Flat Rock Elementary in Lithonia.

“Specifically, he paid for a room using his P-Card at the Ritz Carlton in Greensboro, Ga., on March 12, 2008, which he used exclusively for personal use with a female subordinate accompanying him,” the indictment said.

The indictment also said that on Dec. 22, 2008, Lewis said in a meeting with other school officials in his office that Reid had tried to blackmail him. He later gave her a new contract and pay raise but denied to investigators that she had tried to blackmail him.

The indictment says that Reid told Lewis “that she knew things about him which would damage him and she would tell everyone if the investigation did not stop.”

Lewis later tried to get then-District Attorney Gwen Keyes Fleming to stop the investigation into Reid.

Click the above link to read the rest of this sad story.

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70 Responses to More on Lewis and Pope

  1. momfromhe11 says:

    I know we have discussed this before, but I have questions in my mind. I
    If Audria Berry knew Lewis was using the p-card, isn’t that accessory to the crime? Is she denying it? If she was exited from the Palace, why does she have a job now? The contract termination issue?

  2. The Other Anon says:

    Based on this article it sounds like with Moody turning state’s evidence there may be new hope for a guilty plea or verdict. Fingers crossed.

  3. Name One says:
    “New indictment alleges crime ring headed by superintendent”

  4. Fred in DeKalb says:

    It was interesting looking at the front page of the AJC on Sunday talking about ignoring a gift ban and ethics then reading this story about the allegations of free tickets. Is there anyone that truly believes that this does not happen all the time in business and government? Our legislature could not even pass ethics legislation this past session.

    Something to think about, where is the money that was allegedly stolen? It is said that both Crawford Lewis and Pat Reid are almost broke. Surely there are bank statements showing where this alleged stolen money is located. Maybe this is evidence that will come up in the trial. This trial needs to happen soon so this can be put behind us all.

  5. DeKalb Observer says:

    The money that was stolen, Fred, is the millions in contracts Pat Reid directed to her then-husband’s firm. The Pope/Reids spent it many moons ago. Are you trying to dismiss this as inconsequential? It appears that Lewis was played – he actually called it blackmail – and that he was intimidated into not reporting what Poe/Reid was doing. I suspect the ticket use never would have surfaced without the RICO scheme having been uncovered. Lewis’ misuse of the p-card didn’t amount to a ton of money, but it was a crime, as was Lewis’ decision to tell different stories to different sets of investigators. As a parent in this school system, I became all too familar with Lewis’ habit of telling different stories to different audiences. He was a weak man, and not a particularly bright one, And it seems clear from the superceding indictment that he figured he was bulletproof because he thought he could manipulate DA Gwen Keyes into doing his bidding. Her oddly-timed departure proved fatal for his planned exit strategy. The problem remains, however, that there aren’t enough people with clean hands to successfully clean up what remains of this school system. Putting this “behind us all” will not solve the extant problems of the school system or rid it of the corruption that is costing our children their futures.

  6. Atlanta Media Guy says:

    DeKalb County Schools remind me of Detroit. The leaders took that city down and they are reaping what their crooked past sowed, a city that is broke an failing. Just like our school system. Mr. Walker, Mr. Bowen, the pizza man, Ron Ramsey and Sarah C-W need to resign their posts, apologize to the students and we need to elect some folks who are actually looking for success in OUR school district. Students first, not friends, families or girl friends. The above mentioned kept the status quo too long and now the tax payers are paying for their sins. Mr. Lewis you failed and I look forward to the many perp walks you’ll experience as you face your friend Ms. Pope and your former constituents in court. Karma can be a bee-yotch can’t it Dr. Lewis?

  7. Fred in DeKalb says:

    DeKalb Observer, serious allegations have been made in the indictment. This is not inconsequential because if the allegations are true, we are talking about the misuse of tax payer dollars.

    That said, if there are allegations of stolen money, it is a reasonable question to ask where is it and is it recoverable. If you are suggesting that some of it went to Tony Pope, does that mean we got something for that money with the work that was done? There should be some accountability for the money that was allegedly stolen. Again, this may come out during the trial but aren’t you curious where this money is?

  8. anothercomment says:

    Take a look at Reid’s Degree she does not have an Engineering degree. There were no Black Women in the Engineering Program at Purdue during the time Crawford Lewis claimed she attended. I was there at that time. There were only a couple of women and we were all white!.

    She wanted to fire Heery because they were on to her incompetance and her fraud and theft scheme. She had to have someone to blame.

  9. Anonymous says:

    If you ever heard her speak, you could tell that she really had no idea what she was doing…I still remember her saying she had no idea that Tucker High School would have asbestos in it……That was the day the entire system lost my support because they had once again hired an incompetent person for a very important job.

  10. Anom says:

    Pope made a fool out of Dr. Lewis. She is the true criminal. Too bad Lewis was caught up into himself and his sexual desires. He didn’t really get ANY money…just perks. How is this diffeewnt from Deal and all of the elrcted officials, regardless of party?

  11. Dekalb homeowner says:

    I agree; it seems that Lewis sold the system out for a few tickets to sporting events. It’s tempting to say that he was really stupid but then he’s making many times what I’m making right now and I’m having to work really hard for mine.

  12. He got caught. Plus, he stupidly burned bridges with people who had been his supporters.

  13. Screwed says:

    I know its not on topic, but keep those teachers in your thoughts in the coming days. Contracts are due back by Wednesday with teacher appreciation week and many aren’t feeling the “appreciation” from the employers. I felt like I was signing my financial death warrant today.

  14. wiserthanmyself says:

    I hear ya. Me, I just saved my apple and my two cookies from the “token of appreciation” snack this morning. They’ll come in handy later this year when my salary runs out.

  15. bettyandveronica1 says:

    So your saying wise…Publix/Kroger gift cards are a good thing for teacher appreciation or end of the year treat?

  16. Concerned Teacher says:

    Is anyone else watching the Board meeting right now? Are they having trouble with the feed or just taking a break?
    The board comments at the end should be interesting- I wonder if any of them will have anything intelligent to say about all of the DCSS headlines in the past week.

  17. bettyandveronica1 says:

    Cunningham say to all us neysayers…let us get on with it… basically shut up, sit down and take it.What’s past is not important, didn’t you know that?

  18. concernforthekids says:

    Does anyone know what AGENDA this BOARD meeting is using?
    I am looking at the meeting on CH. 24 and looking for the agenda items on the website and DO NOT see these items they are voting for.


  19. concernforthekids says:

    Never mind, I was watching the April 9th meeting because I heard Jay Cunnigham refer to the upcoming CRT tests that the kids are going to take…….We need a new board!!


  20. If you are just now looking at the BOE meeting, you are seeing a re-run. The earlier meeting — the one at 6 PM, not the “special” called meeting today at 4:30 PM — was over by about 8:40 PM, I think.

  21. Tucker Guy says:

    I just checked on and in in fiscal year 2011 Audria M. Berry was paid $116,163 and reimbursed for travel in the amount of $4,352. It lists her job as DEPUTY/ASSOC/ASSISTA. Not bad money for an assistant principal.

  22. concernforthekids says:

    Tucker Guy,
    Audria Berry was the Director of Title 1 funds and essentially ROBBED our low-income students of the resources that were supposed to help them learn. Her annual budget was over $100 million!
    Title 1 schools academic achievement declined EVERY YEAR she was in charge of Title 1.
    Another case of “Friends & Family” stealing the money they had no expertise or skill set to warrant their position.
    Her position was obtained from her position with Crawford Lewis.
    Bahama Berry is widely known for her unauthorized trips with the MARRIED superintendent to the Carribean and Ritz-Carlton.
    How she is still employed with DSCD and teaching 2nd greders is beyond my imagination.

  23. North Dekalb Teacher says:

    Thanks……….it was interesting to see the number of grammatically suspect certificates of appreciation in the recycling bin yesterday. I hate to be petty, but it didn’t even mention teachers, it was “Staff Appreciation Week”

  24. justwatch says:

    Not an assistant principal. She was head of Title 1.

  25. Freda says:

    I think the money has all gone to attorneys.

  26. Dekalbite says:

    Dr. Lewis asked for Dr. Berry to be promoted to Executive Director of the Office of School Improvement that came with an increase in salary. Look at the minutes of the BOE meeting of July 10, 2006. Note that the BOE was familiar with the “missing” 2004 Ernst and Young compensation and classification study and used it to justify these promotions. Ms. Edwards is supportive of these promotions. Directly after the vote on these promotions, Ms. Edwards son-in-law David Guillory receives a promotion.

    From BOE minutes of meeting July 10, 2006:

    Dr. Lewis recommended that the Board approve the following personnel recommendations:

    a. Frankie Callaway to the position of Senior Associate Superintendent, School Administration (currently Associate Superintendent, Student/Professional Services) responsible for the day-to-day operation of schools

    Robert Moseley to the position of Associate Superintendent for Administrative Services
    (currently Senior Associate Superintendent, Curriculum & Instruction)

    Wanda Gilliard to the position of Associate Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction
    (currently Senior Executive Director for Curriculum & Instruction)

    Wendolyn Bouie to the position of Area Assistant Superintendent, Area 6 (currently Executive Director, Special Projects)

    Debbie Gay to the position of Executive Director, Special Services (currently Director, Special Education)

    Charlie Henderson to the position of Executive Director, Administrative Support &
    Athletics (currently Director, Athletics)

    Regina Fletcher to the position of Executive Director, Partners in Education, Public &
    Media Relations, & Special Projects (currently Director, Partners in Education, Public & Media Relations)

    Audria Berry to the position of Executive Director, Office of School Improvement (currently Director, Office of School Improvement)

    Tony Eitel to the position of Executive Director, Student Assessment (currently Director, Student Assessment)

    Ms. Grant noted that there was a substantial change in salary for several of the promotions. Dr. Lewis confirmed that all but two of the reassignments were promotions and included salary increases. Two positions, Robert Moseley and Wanda Gilliard, were only changes in job titles and were lateral moves with no increase in salary. Ms. Grant said that while she realizes the duties are greater, she has shared her concern before about putting an individual into a position and assuming they are up to the task. She feels there should be a trial period for any new job assignment. Dr. Lewis said that he believes the individuals have proven themselves in the work they have done to date.

    Mr. Franzoni stated that his comments are general and not directed toward any on the recommended individuals. He said the Board and school system are criticized by the public and the public perception is that the school system administration is top heavy. Currently, the Board’s policy allows for 43 supervisory or above positions. Dr. Lewis’ recommendation increases it to 58 positions, a 35% increase. The Board needs to look at its policy. He is voting against the recommendation for this reason and not against individuals.

    Ms. Joyner questioned how the salary increases were determined, noting that although there is a single salary structure, she could not determine any consistency in the increases……Ms. Joyner said that she has real issues with the pay scale.

    Ms. Anderson-Littlejohn stated that she has concerns and doesn’t understand the rationale behind the changes and the accompanying salary increases. She questioned whether the school system was becoming top heavy and whether the system would be better served by putting this money back into the classroom.

    Mrs. Edwards encouraged the Board to support Dr. Lewis’ reorganization as presented by the Superintendent to support his moving forward. The Board spent many dollars on the compensation classification study and adopted a single salary structure and this should be the model. The salaries should be well within this range.

    Ms. Joyner made a motion that the Board accept the Superintendent’s recommendation on promotion and salary adjustments in its entirety. Ms. Roberts seconded the motion.

    The motion passed by a vote of 5-3, with Ms. Andrews, Ms. Copelin-Wood, Mrs. Edwards, Ms. Joyner, and Ms. Roberts voting affirmatively, and with Ms. Anderson-Littlejohn, Mr. Franzoni, and Ms. Grant opposed.

    Ms. Andrews moved to approve Dr. Lewis’ recommendation that David Guillory be appointed Interim Executive Director of Transportation to include the recommended salary increase. Ms. Joyner seconded the motion.

    Ms. Anderson-Littlejohn called for a vote, and the motion passed by a vote of 6-1-1, with Ms. Anderson-Littlejohn, Ms. Andrews, Ms. Copelin-Wood, Ms. Grant, Ms. Joyner, and Ms. Roberts voting affirmatively, Mr. Franzoni opposed, and Mrs. Edwards abstaining”

  27. concernforthekids says:

    I will be in the DeKalb Courthouse on September 10th for the beginning of the Crawford Lewis / Pat & Tony Pope trial! I would LOVE to hear the DA also question Lewis about these promotions!
    Here is the quote of the day from that board meeting on July 10, 2006.

    “Ms. Grant said that while she realizes the duties are greater, she has shared her concern before about putting an individual into a position and assuming they are up to the task. She feels there should be a trial period for any new job assignment. Dr. Lewis said that he believes the individuals have proven themselves in the work they have done to date.”

    Imagine that! Someone actually had a concern about promoting the “F&F” from within and ASSUMING they are up to the task!

    Here is another one,

    “Ms. Andrews moved to approve Dr. Lewis’ recommendation that David Guillory be appointed Interim Executive Director of Transportation to include the recommended salary increase. Ms. Joyner seconded the motion.”

    Please focus on the word “INTERIM” ED of Transportation! David Guillory and his sister Philandria both DO NOT have any experience in their field. Transportation or broadcasting yet they have been making OVER $110,000 for the past 6 years! Please check and see what their career path within DCSD has been. I can only assume they have gone from an entry level position to Executive Director within a few years.
    I’ll check on it and let everyone know the lineage!

    Here is the last sentence that is SO distrurbing from their mother in law the school board member who abstained from the vote!
    “Mrs. Edwards encouraged the Board to support Dr. Lewis’ reorganization as presented by the Superintendent to support his moving forward.”

    This is how business has been done in DeKalb for a long time and enough is enough!
    We can’t afford this type of nepotism and the students have suffered by it!
    The time is coming for accountability and transparency!


  28. bettyandveronica1 says:

    Isn’t it interesting that this same language was used last night by Cunningham. Can’t we just move forward…what is it with this word. Hmmm. I wonder. Past is past, now let’s just move forward and focus on the chidren. Translation don’t focus on the adults that are supposed to be working for the children. Let’s just move forward from here, the last 5 years have been really tough. No need to drag it all up.

  29. concernforthekids says:

    The reason WHY the existing board wants to MOVE forward is so they won’t have to LEARN from the past. We all know the definition of stupid!
    Why do we intrust a $750 million per year school system to a gentleman that has 17 existing liens against him? The worst / best lien is the fact the Ford Motor Company is coming after him for not paying them! Guess who owns a Ford dealership? Maurice Cunningham of course. The board members brother! So the school board member gets a car from the only person in Atlanta that will finance a person with 16 liens against him and he “STIFFS” his brother and Ford Motor for the car?
    He treats his own brother this way and we expect him to have the students best interests in mind?
    Come on people, wake UP!
    This county has 33% of its county commissioners who have filed personal BANKRUPTCY!
    And they were voted into office to run a $500 million per year county government.
    Don’t you think we should require a credit check and a criminal background check of ALL elected officials? Annually?

  30. Atlanta Media Guy says:

    It’s amazing there were always a couple of folks who were questioning Dr. Lewis. This was 6 years ago, well how did this work out for us? “Top Heavy” you think?

    Let’s total up the salaries of all the Edwards family members that work in DCSS, cousins and in-laws included. At last count there were at least 4 or 5, right? I know Edward’s son was the one who got a $15k raise in MIS and proceeded NOT to report to his new position for 6 months, his boss Tyson had no idea that he had not reported to his new job. He still kept his job, nice work if you can get it I guess. He hid in a elementary school answering phones and picking up lunch orders for 6 months. Parents were the ones who discovered him, after WSB-TV did an interview with Dr. Lewis about nepotism, Lewis of course denied there was any at DCSS. Obviously, Lewis started his web of deceit way back then. Ms. Edwards I think your family has benefitted greatly with OUR tax dollars. Maybe it’s time to let someone else take those positions, to see if they could do a better job. PDS-24 is a disaster and I think it could serve the students much better than it does currently.

  31. Atlanta Media Guy says:

    Sorry Jay! It’s time to dredge everything up! Especially how many schools purchase pizza from your restaurants. The only way to promote NEW growth is to turn over the dead dirt and replace it with fresh soil. I’m just sayin…..

  32. Not only should there be an annual credit check and criminal background check for ALL public elected and appointed officials, it should be illegal to qualify to run for a public elected office — or be appointed to a management-level public office — with a bad credit record and/or criminal convictions.

  33. Cynical In Chamblee says:

    And, include back taxes. If anyone owes any local, state or federal taxes, they should not be able to qualify to run for public office either!

  34. Barbara says:

    Very interesting info!

  35. Out of curiosity, and at the risk of irritating Fred, this a question. It is not a rumor, it is a question that arises from a documented fact.

    The name Marcus Guillory shows up as a Parent Coordinator on the State Salaries and Travel Reimbursement page. He makes $70,489.21 a year. Is he a member of the family?

  36. Dekalbite says:

    That would exclude many legislators from office – Republican and Democrt.

  37. concernforthekids says:

    I see 4 Guillory’s working in DeKalb alone.
    The lowest salary is Joe, the ROTC teacher making a combined salary and travel of $69,863.39.
    Next is Marcus $70,489.21 as a Parent Coordinator.
    Then Philandria at PDS-24 making $114,487.67 and finally David, Executive Director of Transportation who makes a combined $115,842.01 with travel expenses.
    Grand total = $370,682.28!
    Every Guillory is making MORE MONEY than most 20 year teachers in the classroom!
    All because they were promoted from within due to the “Friends and FAMILY” program!
    Do you require a road map D.A. Robert James?


  38. Dekalbite says:

    There is no record of a teaching certificate for him, but that is the case for most of this group.

    Why are there no certification or licensing requirements for this group? For example, Gwinnett County Parent Center personnel ALL have current teaching certificates and time spent AS A TEACHER in the classroom. In Clayton County, their Parent Center personnel ALL have paraprofessional certification.

    DeKalb MAG audit:
    page 739, 740
    Look at what is required to be a Parent Facilitator in DeKalb :
    “Education and/or Experience
    Associate’s Degree in Social Services, Psychology or closely related area is required.
    No prior experience is required.
    Certificates, Licenses, Permits: None. ”

    Dekalb MAG audit:
    pages 1009, 1010
    Look what is required to be a Specialist, Parent Community Liaison in DeKalb:
    “Education and/or Experience
    Bachelor’s degree in Education, Special Education, Social Work, Psychology or closely related area is required.
    More than four (4) years classroom teaching or closely related experience.
    Certificates, Licenses, Permits: None. ”

    NO certifications or licenses and MOST of them have no teaching certificates.

  39. Don't bitch without a solution says:

    My husband and I both have college degrees and professional careers. We work long hours to deserve the pay we receive. Yet, neither of us has ever made over $100k. Why do teachers, principals and administrators in a school system that is FAILING think they deserve to be paid so much money and then complain when they have to work extra hours? We all do. That’s the way the economy is right now. But, I do know one thing – if my employer was stealing from the company’s investors or short-changing the customers on the things they were expecting – I would not be able to continue working there. I would likely look for another job before quitting, but I would have to quit, regardless of the benefits or perks or whatever else … because life is short and I don’t want to spend mine helping someone who brings harm to others or a business that steals from families, or takes advantage of women and children. These teachers need to get creative – start up home school groups that you can teach in shifts and then recruit local families to participate. If we are doing this for ourselves, don’t you think we would rather have good teachers – the ones smart enought to leave a corrupt system -teaching our kids if we could?? Or make a run for the school board. Whatever you do, don’t just do the same thing you always do (whatever that might be). Find a way to to really help the children by exposing the things that go on there every day!!

  40. How can you require someone to have four years of classroom teaching or closely related experience, and not require certification? Closely related experience would indicate to me a paraprofessional. Or was that qualifier of “closely related experience” added to include totally non-qualified family members and friends?

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