Now What?

This arrived late last night in DeKalb School Watch’s e-mail, sent by one of our vigilant readers:

“Are we/DeKalb going to approve more $$$ for Crawford’ Lewis’ defense–on a monthly basis? Has he already spent the first $100,000?  Why does this need to be an action item tomorrow night? It is like they are hurrying it through — as I don’t believe it was on last week’s agenda.”

Take a look:

Quick Summary / Abstract

Presented by: Dr. Eugene P. ‘Gene’ Walker, Board Chair & Representative, District #9

Requested Action

With respect to the Heery\Mitchell litigation (case # 07cv2532-3), it is requested that the DeKalb Board of Education waive the $100k indemnity cap set forth in Board Policy EGD with respect to the legal defense fees and costs incurred by the Goodman, McGuffey, Lindsey & Johnson law firm, as counsel for former Superintendent Crawford Lewis.  It is further moved that any further fees and costs to be incurred by this firm shall first be approved on a monthly basis.  The Board expressly reserves the right to impose further caps as may be necessary with respect to this matter.

Motion by:  ____________________
Seconded by:  _________________
Vote:  __________

DSW strongly urges all readers to familiarize themselves with this Board policy.

Instead of “waiving” (which, in this case, means “removing”) the indemnity cap, and then voting monthly to keep paying and paying and paying (and you KNOW that is what will happen), the Board has the option (per Board Policy EGD), “with respect to criminal or quasi-criminal actions, the Board may reimburse such persons for expenditures of the type described above if final judgment in such action is rendered in favor of such persons.”

Thanks to Crawford Lewis and Ramona Howell Tyson (a not-so-little piggy still feeding at the DeKalb County Schools trough) and Cheryl Howell Atkinson and Gene Walker and other members (the Gang of Five) of the Board, DeKalb County Schools is in terrible financial shape — millions and millions and millions of dollars in the hole.  DeKalb County Schools cannot afford to properly and appropriately educate its students.

This is simply a CYA move on the part of Gene Walker — setting a precedent to CY [his] substantial A and that of other current and former DeKalb County Schools Board members and employees.   Well, we can’t afford it.  This was and is NOT in the FY2013 budget as a line item.   We CANNOT afford to pay for non-budgeted items!

Until DeKalb County Schools can successfully meet its mission (educating DeKalb County’s students), Crawford Lewis and his attorneys need to be satisfied with $100,000 — which we think is more than generous considering how much Lewis has cost DeKalb County Schools and its students — especially students who have lost an unrecoverable opportunity to improve their lives and move out of poverty.

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This entry was posted in Co-conspirators, Crawford Lewis, Criminal / RICO Trials, DeKalb County [GA] Board of Education, Fraud & Corruption, Gene Walker, Heery Mitchell Civil Case, Paul Womack, Superintendent Cheryl Howell Atkinson, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

71 Responses to Now What?

  1. SagamoreHillsMom says:

    The schools need this money. The STUDENTS need this money. Art just got cut back at Sagamore Hills Elem. because there is not enough money. Lunches are pitiful and most kids find them disgusting. Because there is not enough money. Classroom sizes are HUGE because there is not enough money. Etc. These crooks need to fund their own defense. They ROBBED our children.

    Keep repeating this to yourself: “If it is to be, it is up to me.”

  2. Pat and Mike says:

    With almost NO notice, Gene Walker and his co-conspirators on the Board are attempting to push through a CYA action that has the possibility of putting DeKalb County Schools millions of dollars more in debt. It also makes ALL current and former DeKalb County Schools Board members and employees very attractive targets for litigation.

    Why? Here’s why: Essentially, this action, if approved, tells all law firms — defense and prosecution — that payment of their bills in any action that involves DeKalb County Schools is guaranteed by property tax.

    You can be sure than any lawyer worth his/her salt will know exactly how to butt in line ahead of students and teachers.

    How can we PERMANENTLY put a STOP to Gene Walker, Cheryl Howell Atkinson, Ramona Howell Tyson, Ron Ramsey, Crawford Lewis and others of their ilk?

  3. murphey says:

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry about this ludicrous request. Why should we give more $$ to Crawford Lewis? Where will the money come from?

  4. feduppara says:

    When are we going to become outraged? Our insurance premiums are unaffordable. Morale in the schoolhouse is the lowest I have ever heard. Paras who have college degrees make less than secretarys with no college credits. Bus drivers are showing pay stubs that put them below proverty, yet they too have a specialized license to drive the bus. Employees have got to start attending board meetings.

  5. Tit For Tat says:

    NO…NO…NO…and Hell No! for one more cent spent on this fiasco!

  6. Cedric says:

    Does anybody know why Principal Everett Patrick was removed as Principal of MLK High School and who will be the new principal

  7. @ Tit for Tat

    Will you be at tonight’s Board meeting to say “NO…NO…NO…and Hell NO!”?

    Keep repeating this to yourself: “If it is to be, it is up to me.”

  8. @ feduppara

    Will you be at tonight’s Board meeting to forcefully express your outrage?

    Keep repeating this to yourself: “If it is to be, it is up to me.”

  9. Will you be at tonight’s Board meeting? Keep repeating this to yourself: “If it is to be, it is up to me.”

  10. Thats the saddest thing, today is a furlough day for kids and teachers, Walker knows that. No time for outrage from us bloggers, too many attorneys are needed for this transparent, corrupt system that has been allowed to police themselves, by OUR district attorney. Ugh!

  11. @ Atlanta Media Guy

    Will you be at tonight’s Board meeting? Keep repeating this to yourself: “If it is to be, it is up to me.”

  12. concernedmom30329 says:

    And then there is this on the agenda…
    It is requested that the Board of Education approve the settlement in the matter of James “Kirk” Crowe v. DeKalb County School System, Civil Action File No. 1:11-CV-02494-CAP, pending in the United States District Court, Northern District of Georgia, in the amount of $300,000.

    From googling I can tell that Kirk was/is an employee of DCSS. Does anyone know what this is about?

  13. tired of them all says:

    The Board and Superintendent are thumbing their noses at every employee in the system. We haven’t had a raise in at least five years. There is no contribution to our retirement. Teachers have 27 to 32 students each in elementary.We are in the middle of a testing fiasco perpetrated against children by educrats who see an opportunity to bring $38,000,000 to the system. Then to top it off, the Queen gets a new car, the Wicked Witch gets a free Ed.D, Ramsey gets a $50,000 raise, Ramona makes enough to pay for 4 teachers, Walker gets to have at least four family members employed, and a secretary for the queen makes more than a principal with an Ed.S and 8 years experience. Stick a fork in us – DeKalb County is done!

  14. tired of them all says:

    How much did Dr. Atkinson have to pay Maureen Downey for the flattering article in the editorial section of the AJC today. Total B.S. and I don’t mean Bachelor of Science!

  15. @ tired of them all
    Will you be at tonight’s Board meeting? Keep repeating this to yourself: “If it is to be, it is up to me.”

  16. @concernedmom30329

    Will you be at tonight’s Board meeting? Keep repeating this to yourself: “If it is to be, it is up to me.”

  17. @ murphey

    Will you be at tonight’s Board meeting to demand answers? Keep repeating this to yourself: “If it is to be, it is up to me.”

  18. @ Sagamore Hills Mom

    Will you be at tonight’s Board meeting? Keep repeating this to yourself: “If it is to be, it is up to me.”

  19. concernedmom30329 says:

    No But I did email the board about the legal fees — there is no public comment tonight. Of course, some of the board members have full email boxes so the emails bounced back. Ugh.

  20. Concernedmom30329 says:

    Tuned in late — what happened with settlement and legal fees? I wasn’t that late — wonder if the items were pulled or there was no discussion.

  21. Edugator says:

    Did they just vote for the balanced calendar for next year?

  22. d says:

    Yes, but they did not discuss early release days.

  23. jande says:

    Yes–they just voted for the balanced calendar–but this vote did not include the
    early release provision . That will evidently be addressed at another time/vote.

  24. Watching this ridiculous Board meeting, the revelation has come to me that “transparency” is just a meaningless word thrown by Dr. Atkinson to the pesky public and media, so they’ll quit their howling.

    Not only that, I think that Atkinson, based on her comments in the AJC Get Schooled post, is trying to throw the Board under the bus. She’s oblivious to the fact that the Board will pull her under with them.

    This meeting is a disorganized, rambling, incoherent mess.

  25. Edugator says:

    OMG. Despite an absence of widespread parental support, they just voted for a calendar that starts school on the first of August, and gives the poor, stressed out kids lengthy breaks in just about every month but August. I hope we add staff to assist with the masses of private school applications that will be flowing in as parents who actually use summer bail out to schools that don’t inflict this calendar on their students.

    True year round schooling may be a good idea for some populations and would be a worthy idea to test. Sticking the third largest system in the state with a calendar that renders meaningful summer jobs for HS kids a challenge, leaves parents scrambling for day care during the balmy month of February, and everyone laughed at by folks in neighboring states while they lounge by pool in August is a travesty.

    I hope my coworkers who favored this rearrangement of the deck chairs enjoy the sweaty little kids who’ll pack their rooms in August.

  26. Murphey says:

    @jande, they did discuss early release days. What they said is that early release is an administrative matter and will not be brought to the Board.

    Dr. Howe said that certified staff were about 2:1 in favor of the balanced calendar. Staff were also in favor of early release on Wednesday.

    She did say that the now-approved balanced calendar has spring break the first week of April to match most of the metro districts. They also moved the October break up one week so that students would be in school when the PSAT is administered.

    @dsw, no, I wasn’t able to attend the meeting, but I did e-mail Board members this afternoon. I can’t always afford a couple hours away during family time.

  27. jande says:

    @Murphey– thank you for the clarification. We were eating dinner and I only got that
    they were not voting on the early release now–I missed they would never vote on it.
    What happened with the legal fees?

  28. Concerned DeKalb Mom says:

    How did the vote go on the calendar…who for and who against?

  29. Curious says:

    They voted to approve the settlement to Mr. Crowe, which appears to be a discrimination in employment suit.

    A split board voted to pay the indicted superintendent’s legal fees incurred in the civil lawsuit. Not sure why he’ll incur legal fees in the civil lawsuit except for his attempt to protect himself from saying anything that will impair his defense in his prosecution. Ms. Edler, Ms. Jester and Mr. McChesney voted against paying Lewis’s fees. Ms. Copelin-Wood was absent.

  30. I hate this stupid calendar issue. I don’t understand WHY this woman has picked this one thing to work on. There are so many other issues that should have been addressed. To the parents that did write in or answered the survey to give their opinion, thanks. To those that didn’t, thanks for nothing. YOU CERTAINLY WOULD HAVE COUNTED OR HELPED EXCEPT THIS WAS HER AGENDA SINCE SHE SET FOOT IN THE DOOR.

    Oh crap, this means my neighborhood pool will now go to half days starting August 5th. WTF..

    We’ll see what happens with this stupid, stupid issue. I am so sick of this woman already. Oh my goodness, can we please, PLEASE, get a supt. with some sense and who is a real hard ass to get this incompetence straightened out. PLEASE!!!! How much longer are we gonna have to endure her…I do hear strains of “I am just gettin warmed up… I’m gonna take a flamethrower to this place!”

  31. PolitiMom says:

    Balanced calendar…one more way to do exactly OPPOSITE of what is best for the kids. I feel for the single parent wage earners who now have to figure out what to do in Oct and Feb. when the camps that are out there are potentially far away, more expensive and full of screens. What can we do to change it at this point? Weren’t Cobb parents effective in changing it back after the vote?

  32. Edugator says:

    Of all the issues in all the world she had to hang her hat on this one. Totally polarizing, without one iota of benefit. Kids come back from a long weekend and don’t know their locker combinations. They won’t be better off after a week hanging around the house watching reruns of Honey Bo Boo. I say again- year round schooling may be good for some, but it is wrong to inflict it upon an entire county, particularly with the absence of parental buy in.

  33. I wish if a board member asked a question and someone said we’ll get that to you later, we had agenda items that started “Answer of board questions from such and such date” They seem to ask questions but get nothing as an answer and we never hear the resolved issue or question.

  34. howdy1942 says:

    I absolutely cannot believe that this Board voted to increase the spending for Lewis’ defense. At a minimum, this money should be put into an escrow account and, if Lewis is found guilty, he should not have access to a single penny of this money. The criminal allegations against him are against him and him alone. The allegations are not against the School Board nor are they against the residents of Dekalb County.

    This School Board has to be one of the most arrogant, tone-deaf, in-your-face Boards in the nation. They are not listening to the people of this County. They are an insult to the taxpayers of this County.

    Thanks to Elder, Jester, and McChesney for voting against this outrageous act. As for the others, what a disappointment you are!

  35. Regarding the James Crowe employment case that the board voted to settle for $300,000, we have received documents on the case and uploaded them onto the Grand Jury/Legal page of our DCSS Files Tab. There doesn’t seem to be much there – not even a complaint. Why are we settling for $300,000 with a former employee? Did we just set a precedent? Can we sustain many more employee lawsuits?

    Here is a direct link if you like to download it now:

    Click to access 10-7-12-crowe-docket.pdf

  36. Please everyone, go to the round table discussions and press her to buy into that if our kids are taking a break in October/February in lieu of 2 weeks of summer vacation…there should be no homework, no projects and no tests to studey for upon their return from this STUPID break week. Otherwise what is the stinking point. take two weeks of summer but make them sit around and work on a huge project or study for a test????? I wish I could get shouty caps even louder!!!

  37. no name says:

    Curious on October 8, 2012 at 8:01 PM wrote: “They voted to approve the settlement to Mr. Crowe, which appears to be a discrimination in employment suit.”

    Is Mr. Crowe white?

  38. teacherwantingachange says:

    Am I the only one who can’t understand how block scheduling is less harmful to students’ learning than two more weeks in the summer? So it’s ok for a student to finish his math studies in December and wait seven months to take another math class, but a summer break that lasts eight weeks isn’t?

    Apparently, we teachers can “differentiate” instruction in the classroom, but the many leaders of Dekalb can’t figure out how to differenitate the time of instruction.

  39. James C. “Kirk” Crowe has the following salary record (from
    2010 — IS Personnel Support Services; $7,887.90
    2009 — IS Personnel Support Services; $79,944; $1,953 travel (looks like Crowe enjoyed a 4% raise)
    2008 — IS Personnel Support Services; $77,028
    No online records available before 2008.

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