From Stan Jester’s Fact Checker blog —
Pat Reid and Tony Pope
The jury was selected this week, and in opening statements yesterday, the defense attorneys for Reid and Pope said the defendants will testify about the racketeering and theft charges against them. Pat Reid was vice president of Tony Pope’s construction company which had millions in contracts to DeKalb Schools. According to the AJC, “These two defendants, along with others, manipulated the DeKalb School District and took money they were not entitled to,” Chief Assistant District Attorney Kellie Hill told jurors in her opening statement. ” While [Reid and Pope] were married, they were partners. They were partners in life and they were partners in business.”
Three weeks ago Crawford Lewis pleaded guilty to obstruction. Facing 65 years in prison, Lewis traded his testimony in the Reid/Pope case for a maximum 12 months in jail. In 1977 Lewis was hired as a physical education teacher and later promoted to principal at Montgomery ES. In 1997 he moved to the central office and was named superintendent in 2004.
CEO Burrell Ellis
DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis was indicted back in June by a grand jury on 15 counts that accused him of trying to pressure county contractors for campaign contributions, among other allegations. Paul Champion, listed as an un-indicted co-conspirator in nine of the 15 criminal counts, broke his silence yesterday on WSB-TV. He is speaking out for the first time about his role in the case, his testimony before the Special Grand Jury and allegations that a county official asked him to pay a kickback. Walton is expected to be a key witness against Ellis.
Ellis’ indictment claims that all the dirty work was done “at the offices of R.L. Brown”. R.L. Brown and Associates is an architectural firm that contracts to school districts. Robert L. Brown and Brad Bryant were appointed liaisons to the Governor for the appointment of the new DeKalb board members. Prior to selecting the new DeKalb Board, R.L. Brown was a board member at Grady where his architectural firm received millions of dollars in contracts for a major expansion of Grady Hospital.
For links and more info click here >> Update on the Fight Against Corruption