The drama begins… (or continues)

The trial for Pat Reid (Pope) and Tony Pope has begun.

Former DeKalb schools chief Crawford Lewis pleads guilty >> Click for photos

Former Dekalb County School Superintendent Crawford Lewis is sworn in before pleading guilty to obstruction of a law enforcement officer, a misdemeanor, in Dekalb County Superior Court before Judge Cynthia Becker Wednesday, October 16, 2013. Lewis was in court with co-defendants, Pat Reid and Tony Pope.

News UPDATES: (with special thanks to the AJC for not placing these articles beyond the pay wall)

Crawford Lewis pleads guilty in school construction scandal

Crawford Lewis testifies

Crawford Lewis takes stand in school corruption trial

Ex-DeKalb superintendent says ex-COO threatened blackmail

Ex-DeKalb schools chief: Reid thought she was too smart to be caught

Crawford Lewis meets Pat Pope





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34 Responses to The drama begins… (or continues)

  1. concerned citizen says:

    The schools are a mess, that’s for sure. What can be done? It has to be to clean house, everybody there in the Palace and of course the Board must go. None of them care at all about the students and teachers. I say again I teach in a school without books, paper, principal, disciplinarian, NOTHING Works. If there are really any so-called area supts, where are they? At this school, NOBODY is visible, no Principal, no AP, no Area Supt, NOTHING! At least throw some paper and books our way(teachers and students’, that is) as nobody else needs books and paper except the teachers and students.

  2. concerned citizen says:

    On second thought: To the Area Supts – Please leave any cartons of paper and textbooks at the front door. The most current book at my school was first issued in 1996 and was signed out each year until 2007. so that must be the date when textbooks were no longer needed. None of my students has any book at all. That’s why we the teachers give hand-outs. Big surprise.AREAS SUPTS – REVEAL YOURSELVES. STEP UP TO THE PLATE. SHY? i’LL BET.

    If the books and paper are left at the front door, nobody has to let anyone in or out (which is the direrction most of us like best). Someone must get in touch with the area supts as they are out shassaying around in their luxury limos, which none of us can afford, to tell them don’t just walk in the front door and hobnob with the principal – walk the building and grounds, talk to the teachers, who are the only ones who know the truth and could tell it if freed from being named and thus fired. I still don’t know who’s in charge in my own building!!!! In fact, I believe that most administrators are mere clowns and buffons who fear for their jobs so much that they have moved Heaven and Earth to make sure nothing negative gets out of “their” buildings. What are students, parents,and our teachers to do? If anyone spots an area supt in any school building, please let all of us know.

  3. hannah0921 says:

    Well it appears to me that Crawford Lewis just perjured himself on the stand today. I hope his deal is revoked. According to the AJC, I will paraphrase here, after a Nationwide search he was glad to find a Construction Professional for the $190K a year salary when her Resume landed on his desk, rather than just an administrator. First, there was no Nationwide search for this position in any Construction Management or Engineering Publication. It was not even publicized in the AJC. Just a couple of weeks ago the State Prisons advertised a Senior Construction Manager in the AJC.

    $190K is a high salary for a Public Sector Facilities Manager. Pat Pope/Reid, had absolutely no prior experience being even a second or third in charge running any sort of Facilities. Or any major Facilities, Design and Construction Program and she is culled out and offered $190K ???, plus a Car in the Public Sector. Facilities Managers for the Federal Government that are over in house staffs of 50, 200, 600 , then $6-15 million in small repair and maintenance project and $200 million plus of new construction projects, much more complex than schools. At NIH, CDC, Justice, The top Facilities grades tend to be GS-15 which topped out after 10-15 years earn $152,000 in Atlanta, with no take home car to have years of experience managing a facility. Not just wo. Plus you would have . A $2,000 bonus


  4. Exactly Hannah!! Not to mention that her resume had ‘landed’ on his desk long before. She testified long ago that she was already working as a consultant for DeKalb County Schools when she ‘applied’ for the COO job.

    See the post about it on the old DSW blog:

    Wednesday, March 31, 2010
    Some testimony for your reading pleasure

    In addition to the numerous discrepancies regarding her employment history, it is also important to note that the resume submitted to the DCSD dos not identify “Patricia Pope” as the candidate for employment. Instead, ther resume pertains to “Patricia A. Reid”. …

    She repeated the use of Patricia A. Reid when she prepared and submitted her application for employment with DCSD.

    The name “Mrs. Patricia A. Reid” also appears.

    She identifies her employer as DeKalb County Schools with Dr. Lewis as her supervisor. Her duties are stated to be “Consultant for SPLOST Program.”

    Ms Pope furnishes information about her previous employment and as to “Employer/Activity1” she states that she was employed by Vincent Pope & Associates, Inc. as Chief Operating Officer and that her immediate supervisor was Anthony V. Pope. In the space marked “your name when employed (if different) is left blank, creating the impression that her name was Patricia Reid when she worked for Vincent Pope.

  5. momfromhe11 says:

    Hannah & DSW:
    Let’s hope this little discrepancy comes out in cross-examination. If it doesn’t, then any embers of hope I had for DeKalb County and DCSS will die.
    Not hyperbolizing.

  6. concerned citizen says:

    Great, momfromhell and DSW2. CrawDaddy is so bad and stinks so much, I can see him with Jay and Melvin and Bouie and all the rest of the scum we have had to deal with over many, many years.I know who they are and what they’ve done; so do many other responsible people. But justice does not seem to catch up with any of them. Pope/Reid/Crawdaddy, all three of them plus Bryant and his crew did this thievery as a united front. I wish I could testify, but nobody would think to ask me. I know what they did.


    The latest news from today’s ‘bombshell’ testimony: Lewis claims there was a ‘black box’ of information that Pat Reid Pope was holding against him. Including knowledge of his extra-marital affairs.

    Whoopee. After all these years, we are reduced to listening to a soap opera, starring a middle-aged school superintendent who was having extra-marital affairs and therefore couldn’t quite muster the courage to confront his COOs questionable activities.

    This ‘trial’ is a joke.

  8. Really, this recent article succinctly states the absurdity of the situation. Lewis goes from a participant in an $80 million conspiracy to a guy simply too scared to do his job because his wife might find out about his secret lover. Our DA apparently finds this extreme reduction in charges perfectly acceptable.

    Crawford Lewis agrees to guilty plea


    Former DeKalb County Schools Superintendent Crawford Lewis has agreed to a plea deal for his role in an alleged $80 million scheme.

    Prosecutors say that Lewis and his alleged co-conspirators, former district Chief Operating Officer Patricia Reid and her ex-husband Tony Pope, are responsible for an alleged conspiracy that used millions of dollars of taxpayer money.

    Lewis is accused of running a scheme where he and Reid funneled hundreds of millions of dollars in construction contracts to a company owned by Reid’s then-husband, Pope. The three were arrested in 2010. Additional charges were filed against them in May 2012.

    On Wednesday, Lewis agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of obstruction or hindering a law enforcement officer. Lewis had been facing felony charges, including theft by taking and racketeering charges, for allegedly using his position as superintendent for his own gain.

    As part of the plea agreement, Lewis will testify against Pope and Reid. That trial is slated to being on Oct. 28.

    Lewis will be sentenced after that trial. The misdemeanor charge carries a penalty up to one year in prison.

  9. All they have to do is prove Lewis lied here: Crawford Lewis testifies

    Former DeKalb County school superintendent Crawford Lewis testified he was “thrilled” when he read Pat Reid’s resume, and wanted to hire her to repair the district’s troubled construction program even though she was married to an architect who was already involved in building DeKalb schools.

    It’s impossible to reconcile that with the fact that Pat Pope’s DCSS application states that she had already been serving as a SPLOST construction consultant. Take it back to her first day as a consultant… how many more millions do you think they could have diverted to Pope’s architectural firm (if that’s in fact what they did)? How are we not to believe that she was hired with exactly this kind of ‘transfer’ of funds or work from the get go?

    Can’t believe they dropped the RICO charges for some dumb excuse about being scared about Pat’s ‘black box’… reminds me of the ‘wrong gas’ story. Lewis isn’t dumb. He’s sly like a fox.

  10. Again —

    See the post about it on the old DSW blog:

    Wednesday, March 31, 2010
    Some testimony for your reading pleasure

    In addition to the numerous discrepancies regarding her employment history, it is also important to note that the resume submitted to the DCSD dos not identify “Patricia Pope” as the candidate for employment. Instead, ther resume pertains to “Patricia A. Reid”. …

    She repeated the use of Patricia A. Reid when she prepared and submitted her application for employment with DCSD.

    The name “Mrs. Patricia A. Reid” also appears.

    She identifies her employer as DeKalb County Schools with Dr. Lewis as her supervisor. Her duties are stated to be “Consultant for SPLOST Program.”

    Ms Pope furnishes information about her previous employment and as to “Employer/Activity1” she states that she was employed by Vincent Pope & Associates, Inc. as Chief Operating Officer and that her immediate supervisor was Anthony V. Pope. In the space marked “your name when employed (if different) is left blank, creating the impression that her name was Patricia Reid when she worked for Vincent Pope.

  11. Ex-DeKalb superintendent says ex-COO threatened blackmail

    Almost immediately after taking the job, Lewis said, she pushed through addendums to the contract with Pope and a contractor as expansions rather than new projects. Lewis signed off on it, but he testified that his practice was to sign those type documents without reading them if he had assurances that they had been vetted by others.

    Really? He didn’t even read multi-million dollar contracts?


  12. Another comment says:

    wow! I have never heard of Lanta head hunting firm and I am a national expert in Design and Construction and Facilities Management. Very few specialized head hunting firms hire these type of jobs so they don’t get bull crapped by frauds like Pat Pope or Reid. I have never filled out a job application especially for a public entity or even an large corporation that does back ground checks that does not specifically ask, have you ever had any previous names, what is your maiden name, what names did you use those other names. I have been married and divorced twice, although once very briefly. Both times I changed my legal name back to my maiden name because my degrees are in my maiden name. I have ended up stuck with my pension and my health insurance stuck in my ex husbands last name. My Professional License issued by the State Board of Architects and Interior Designers is stuck in my ex- husbands name as well. I have two children – one who legally changed her name to my maiden name, she has the same health insurance problem. Then my youngest has my ex-husbands last name. So I am often called Mrs E. as well as Mrs.S my maiden name, which is my legal name. I am very careful to sign every single legal document and form as my legal name aka Mrs. E. On any Job application or resume I have always listed that I have been clear that I have been M.S, M.S-B, M.B and M.E. with M.S. now my legal name except my professional license first issued in 1994 remains in ME, It is very hard to change your name on a professional license. My advice to women keep your maiden name. But clearly disclose and nepotism conflicts of interests.

    Do you have an actual copy of her application or resume. I believe their are many more lies in it including her degree. I once heard Crawford Lewis state that she got her Construction Engineering degree from Purdue. Then said something about the Camulaut Campus. Purdue only issued Construction Engineering degrees at the main west Lafayette campus in the early 80’s. I was the first female Teaching Assistant working on a Masters Degree in 82-83. There were absolutely no black females in the program, males either. their were max 3-4 females in each under graduate class. You could not finish the degree at Calumet, maybe take a remedial or precursor course, but not the Construction Engineering Degree out of the school of Civil Engineering.

    I have never heard of the companies she claimed to work with in Chicago . Everyone, at that time at least gave Karen and I the other female in the program an interview. Every mid size up Chicago firm interviewed at Purdue. Her Beers answers are sketch, she must have worked for some minority partner. She had zero Public sector multiple facility, facility management experience. She was not experienced to work for Heery, let alone fire them. Put it this way Beatrice from Heery who handled the value engineering contract for DOD could run circles around Pat Pope.

    Dekalb better get ready to open the checkbook to Heery.

    I am waiting to hear which to board to board members are in her black box.

    Remember the prosecution can have a hay day with her on the bigamy charges. How can you be that stupid to realize you aren’t divorced?

  13. Yes. Lanta – according to Lewis – did a nationwide ‘search’ to fill Dr. Pritchett’s position. They ‘found’ Pat Pope – however, Pat was already a consultant to Lewis and he already had planned on canning Pritchett and placing Pat in the position. He did not apprise the Board of this – he presented a lie – that he had contracted a search firm to find Pope. In fact it’s worse – Lewis knew Pat was married to Tony Pope before he ever hired her. He called in Josie Alexander who said if Lewis hired Pat, that Tony could finish his current projects. So, Josie Alexander was also aware of the Pope’s relationship before Lewis hired Pat.

    We don’t have Pat Reid’s resume, but the court does. We do have many pages of testimony… Read scans of the court documents we have had in the blog’s possession for several years. (FOUND UNDER OUR FILES TAB ON THE LEGAL/CRIMINAL PAGE)

    SOME IMPORTANT TESTIMONY — pre trial (2008)



  14. Wonder which board members were also in Pat’s black box? Do they plan to call Tom Bowen to the stand anytime soon?

  15. Another comment says:

    I have hired many architects, engineers, construction managers, facilities managers, as well as selected contract A&E firms, program Managers, including Heerry during the last thirty years since I obtained my Masters Degree in Construction Engineering and Management and was recruited to Atlanta by a top 100 General Contracing firm. Pat Pope/ Reid / Clark or what ever her name is clearly was never qualified for this job. Lewis’ Head hunting firm is a joke; it clearly did not look around town or I as a female would have received a call. If not I then others I know would have received a call who are much more qualified. I know a black female who is also much more qualified. only problem is she doesn’t play these Dekalb County race games. She plays by who is most qualified. I know Alot of people who are Alot more qualified. I could have given them a black male who graduated #1 in his Ga tech class who is Alot more qualified. but he also does not play the Dekalb County Race Games. You don’t have to play the Dekalb County or the Bill Campbell / Kaseem Reed Race Games if you are truly qualified. For example I turned down a major project job with turner in Philly, when the headhunter told me they were only looking for a female. I can compete with anyone on merit.

    Pat would not even be qualified for a $85k Construction Manager’s job. She has no consistancey. Their is a bunch of bull in her résumé that she can’t cover in her deposition that indicate she is covering something. I can list, every company I worked for ( I haven’t worked for as many) but I can list my projects.

    I had to laugh at Lewis’s testimony today that she told him she was smarter than him. It seems like she is nothing more than a garden variety sociopath. She can’t keep her lies straight. I find it interesting that her first husband Clark is claiming she forged documents and stole his property in the divorce, which is why he never signed off. Normally people that don’t have children, especially when the woman is a self supporting professional divorces are usually of the quick uncontested type. This tells you she must be a total piece of work.

    the entire 30’years I have been in Atlanta, Heery has had one of the best reputations. They have always been the go to firm for Owners, Developers, Contractors and General Contractors to use for Estimating. DOD had a Value Engineering task order contract with them in the late 1990’s early 2000’s, That any Federal agency could do an interagency agreement and use. DOD had audited overhead rates with Heery of 165%. Most A&E and program manager firms in this area have Federal audited rates of 200-250%. They did a wonderful job and made the projects better, while saving dollars. We had a task order Interior design contract that they won through competitive procurement. They did an excellent job on that. I never had any complaints and they were easy to work with, worked well with internal facilities customers, and all their paper work was on the up And up. Any long time person in the Atlanta design and construction industry can tell you that this smelled bogus from the beginning.

  16. concerned citizen says:

    So Crawdaddy is so afraid of the little black box that he runs home to confess his affair to his long-suffering wife. If the jury buys this “explanation” of this behavior as supt., I’ll be surprised. It certainly would be interesting to know the make up of the jury.

  17. Former DeKalb County Schools executive Pat Reid boasted that no one was “smart enough” to catch her even if she had done anything illegal in regards to the district’s construction program, according to testimony Friday in the racketeering trial of Reid and her ex-husband, architect Tony Pope.

    Crawford Lewis, the former DeKalb superintendent, told jurors he confronted Reid many times about reports that her then-husband was getting school construction work even though it was prohibited as long as she was the system’s chief operating officer.

    Lewis had testified earlier that he tried repeatedly to fire Reid after he learned she was allegedly manipulating the contracting system to benefit Pope and his firm, A. Vincent Pope & Associates. He also testified that she had misled him about her position with her’s husband’s business and that he no longer trusted her.

    Read more >> Ex-DeKalb schools chief: Reid thought she was too smart to be caught

  18. My favorite quote in the recent AJC article —

    Tony Axam, Reid’s defense attorney, asked Lewis if he was “smarter” than Reid.

    “Not necessarily,” Lewis said.

    “But you’re the one who got the deal,” Axam said.

  19. And what of this? —

    Lewis never got board approval to fire Reid, who had been hired in 2005 to repair the school system’s troubled construction program. Lewis said he was instead required to renew Reid’s contract and to give her a pay raise.

    I’d like to hear the board members from that time testify and corroborate this statement.

    Let’s see… who was the chair at the time? Tom Bowen I believe. Why would he protect Pat Pope’s job if Lewis had really asked to fire her?

  20. If what Lewis is saying in this interview is true, then there are board members culpable in the corruption. Not only did the board apparently tell him he couldn’t fire her as he asserted before, the chair and vice-chair (assuming these are the two he originally met with) leaked the info and Pat Pope herself found out about it…

    Crawford Lewis meets Pat Pope

    He admits that he knew Tony Pope was given more work. He says he questioned Pat on the issue. Then the construction atty called Lewis and Lewis called Lynn Jackson at the state.

    DSW2 Q: Why then, did Crawford Lewis sign off on all of Pat’s requests and contracts? If he didn’t trust her – as he says – then why did he not “read” the documents he was signing? (He said he did not read the docs he signed…)

  21. Another comment says:

    My bet is we have to look at the board members who are responsible for the two sets of lawyers. It seems like the Alexander law firm is way in on this Tony Pope thing. Those same board members who were pushing for a black law firm no matter what the cost, sure have gotten what the cost.

    Perhaps one should look at Gene, I only see color. As this was all about certain people wanting to completely eliminate the better qualified white contractor, who did have a well regarded minority partner, Mitchell, to use unqualified minority contractors as a ruse for self, family and friends personal gain.

  22. Another comment says:

    either way, dekalb schools will end up opening up the checkbook to Heery for this wrongful termination. The amazing question, as always is why did they settle with Mitchell as, I would guess that Mitchell was 51% as standard with Minority/Majority partners. So that is another oddity.

  23. concerned citizen says:

    Somebody is lying; that would be Lewis AND Reid/Pope. Another comment – you are correct. Mitchell was at least 51% M/M so we know that a deal/deed was done that was corrupt at its core.

  24. Love this post!!

    Wednesday, October 16, 2013 (Can’t believe I didn’t see it until now…)
    Crawford Lewis Turns Snitch

  25. howdy1942 says:

    This whole thing just sickens me. I just wonder how many more “Pat Reids” there are in the current administration. Again, I say that we need to clean house at the school board, we need to clean up the administration, and we need a new superintendent. Or we need new, smaller school districts that will be better run, closer to the people, and more accountable than we have at present. Can the superintendent not fire a member of the administration without the approval of the board? Even if the superintendent can’t, why would any ethical board member not support the superintendent in firing Pat Reid if half of what Dr. Lewis states is true? Would any ethical lawyer really recommend that a member of the administration be retained in such circumstances only for the purpose of testifying in the Heery case?

    One final question – Do our students have textbooks or not? Do they have anything other than handouts prepared by our teachers? If there is anyone who can speak factually about this matter, please respond in this blog.

  26. concerned citizen says:

    I can tell you that at my school, Howdy, there is not one textbook in any subject issued to the students. Why? There are none. I can go to the bookroom and look all I want to, but there are no books and there haven’t been for years. Have any textbooks been issued at THS? This was a hot issue not too long ago. I believe from talking with other teachers all over the county that there are only a token amount of books issued and then only at schools at the very top or bottom on the achievement scale. Why? Public scrutiny looks at the top and bottom and not much else.

  27. Another comment says:

    My big question is why hasn’t the DA been sitting at the public corruption trial. Why does he have a relatively inexperienced junior DA trying this major case for Dekalb county. It is such a shame that Don Geary left for Cobb County.

    Andrea Snyderman certainly has to thank Don Geary for leaving to go to Cobb Countynfor her reduced Charges.

  28. Sam says:

    The prosecution on this case is as bad as the former administrators of DCSD. Just because you say its so does not make it true. Where is the evidence? The defendents (sans Crawford Lewis) are accused of manipulating the system and funneling over a million dollars in contracts but there is no paper trail? No bank statements where the money was deposited? No contract? No nothing?
    Crawford took a plea and agreed to testify truthfully as a condition of his plea agreement but the investigator (Nix) testified that although Lewis testified that he was being blackmailed by Reid he stated the contrary during the investigation. So which is true? Is he lying now or was he lying then or is he just a liar across the board? Im convinced of the latter and hope SOMEBODY calls him out on it.
    If unfortunate the district is in the condition its in and somebody should be held accountable but it looks like they got the wrong set of defendents and the real thief adulterer and liar is sitting pretty.

  29. momfromhe11 says:

    I agree that Lewis has not been truthful, and we can prove it over and over by pulling up his quotes on DSW. BUT, if Lewis’ veracity is successfully challenged, what does that do to the case?

    Any of his testimony against Reid/Pope must be discarded, and there is much less chance of conviction. If Lewis is proven to be a liar, doesn’t Heery’s case get stronger?

  30. Oddly, you would think that the Pope’s defense team would be interested in showing Lewis as a liar. However, they probably don’t need to as he got a sweetheart deal — his freedom for his testimony – and so far all he’s said are some repeats of things Pat Reid “said” as well as the implied notion that she had a ‘black box’ and was going to out him for his affairs. Whooopee. In fact, I personally don’t care to hear about their personal affairs. Lewis has provided NO evidence against Pope and Reid. He is useless to the prosecution and not much of a threat to the defense. It’s brilliant actually. I have always said he is sly like a fox! What a waste of over 3 years and no telling how many hundreds of thousands of tax dollars spent on this ‘trial’…

  31. The lead investigator tells us that Crawford Lewis told him he had not had an affair and that he was not being blackmailed:

    So now it’s in the hands of the jury —

    Jurors hearing closing arguments in DeKalb schools racketeering trial

    The question put to jurors today is was architect Tony Pope a criminal or a sloppy record keeper?

    The evidence is in and prosecutors and defenses attorneys are making their closing arguments today to the jurors hearing the racketeering and theft trial against Pope and his ex-wife Pat Reid, the former chief operating officers for DeKalb County Schools.

    Charged with manipulating construction contracts to benefit themselves, the one-time couple is facing decades in prison if they are convicted; 65 years for Reid and 30 years for Pope.

    The jurors heard briefly from Assistant District Attorney Lawanda Hodges and then Pope’s defense lawyers John Petrey and J. Tom Morgan offered their summations. After a lunch break the jurors will be be back arguments from Reid’s attorney, Tony Axam, and more from prosecutors.

    Also watch the video of the defense showing how Pat was thrown under the bus — using a toy bus and goofy goggles as props!

  32. Personally, I think it was Assistant District Attorney Lawanda Hodges who got thrown under the bus! Notice how everyone scattered just before this trial came up – leaving her to ‘prosecute’ this dog of a case and she will take the heat in the press for the DA’s failure and for wasting tax dollars…

  33. Fred in DeKalb says:

    Does anyone know if information about Reid’s education and work history came up during the trial. For several months, a poster has suggested she was not truthful about this. I’m wondering if the facts about this were revealed.

  34. It did not come up. And we did not ‘suggest’ it, we just reprinted the pre-trial depositions where Heery attorneys suggested it. The testimony has been posted on the old blog a long time – and we have some of those 2008 files available here:

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