University of Georgia professor Dr. Douglas Bachtel died Thursday, August 8, 2013. Dr. Bachtel also was the editor of the Georgia County Guide, among other publications, and a skilled researcher/demographer.
You may be wondering what that means to you and/or to DeKalb County Schools.
After Crawford Lewis commissioned a demographic study, glaring errors were discovered in what has come to be known as a “faux – or fake – study.” A long-time parent (now DSW contributor) met privately with Lewis and his top assistant, Debbie Loeb , to point out the errors. Lewis appeared shocked and troubled. Neither Lewis nor Loeb mentioned that a few weeks earlier a group of Nancy Creek parents had brought similar concerns to Lewis’ attention.
Here’s the story:
Believing we were dealing with a man (Lewis) who had gotten some very bad advice (faux demographic “study”) we went to talk with Dr. Bachtel, with Lewis’ knowledge and approval. We took copious notes and prepared a written report for Lewis stating what we had learned. Dr. Bachtel also sent the most recent Georgia County Guide and accompanying DVD ($85 value) to Lewis at no charge.
Dr. Bachtel was very gracious and very generous with his time. He explained where the study, prepared by an out-of-state so-called demographer, was unreliable and, in some cases, completely false. He explained how to obtain very reliable numbers regarding housing and population growth. One critical thing Dr. Bachtel pointed out was that the so-called demographer was seemingly unaware that, in Georgia, building permits are issued by counties only for the unincorporated portions of each county. Cities issue building permits for land within their boundaries. That is why DeKalb County had no building permits for the City of Chamblee, where the majority of Nancy Creek students lived. Knowing that is Demography 101.
We asked Dr. Bachtel what he would charge to re-do the clearly erroneous demography “study” and report from the so-called demographer. He said it would cost $15,000. Lewis had paid $100,000 plus expenses. Fairfax County (VA) Schools had paid $50,000 for the exact (word-for-word) same report. In fact, that is what tipped us off to the duplicity. Knowing that Fairfax County Schools was much larger than DeKalb County, we were surprised to see so many similarities. For example, according to the faux demographic “study,” Fairfax County Schools had the same number of elementary schools as DeKalb County Schools. Not true! A closer look revealed that the faux demographic “study” was simply a cut-and-paste job – not very well done, either.
Following delivery of the detailed written report and the Georgia County Guide plus DVD to Lewis, he suddenly and unexpectedly cut off all communication. He would not return calls or e-mails. It became clear that the demographic “study” commissioned by Lewis likely was, in fact, a fake study to enable Lewis to move forward with whatever “deal” he had cut with Sembler to sell off extremely valuable property on North Druid Hills Road. Based on Sembler’s $20,000 contribution to Gene Walker’s election campaign, we believe Walker was involved in this maneuver, as well.
Lewis had to empty Nancy Creek School, by claiming, untruthfully, that population was dropping in the Nancy Creek attendance area and adjoining elementary school attendance areas (Huntley Hill and Montgomery), so he could move Kittredge (Grades 3 – 6) from its North Druid Hills location (on land Sembler wanted to buy and develop) to Nancy Creek. Lewis kept Kittredge parents quiet by sending Nancy Creek students to elementary schools in the adjoining attendance areas, ultimately resulting in overcrowding in the receiving schools.
It is interesting to note that the out-of-state GIS consultant who worked with the out-of-state demographer who prepared the highly flawed, cut-and-paste demographic “study” states on his website that his aim is: “to provide expert demographic analysis and recommendations to clients while empowering them with the ability to keep any plan alive.”
Several weeks later, after no response from Lewis to phone calls and e-mails, we went by Lewis’ office to pick up a large envelope containing the Georgia County Guide and DVD which had been hand-delivered to Lewis. The large envelope was handed to us by Gloria Talley. It had never been opened.
This story is important because it shows a continued past practice of fraudulent and corrupt behavior by Crawford Lewis, perhaps aided and abetted by Debbie Loeb who was involved in at least one other questionable – possibly fraudulent and corrupt – deal.
This story is important because it is yet another demonstration of how damaging is DeKalb District Attorney Robert James’ refusal to bring Lewis and Pope to trial. Cointa Moody, a critical witness, is dead. Now Dr. Douglas Bachtel, another potential witness, is dead.
DeKalb County (GA) and its youngest, most helpless, least vocal citizens are damaged daily by this continued uninterrupted corruption. As the Biblical David cried out, “How long, O Lord, how long?”