The Face of Corruption in DeKalb County Schools

So far, the only punishment Crawford Lewis has endured has been 5 days in jail. Judge Becker sentenced him to 1 year in jail and due to his lack of usable testimony and non-fulfillment of the plea agreement with the court, we think he should at least have to serve out this one year.

Please send letters of support to Judge Becker. A paragraph will do. Nothing complicated. Not too long. She already knows the story. If you like, you could cut-and-paste from our update article and/or from the comments just to remind her how many people — especially students — were seriously injured by Crawford Lewis. It will be years before we know the full human cost and financial damage caused by Lewis. Here is Judge Becker’s mailing address:

    Judge Cynthia J. Becker  
    556 North McDonough Street,
    Room 7230
    Decatur, GA  30030

Write Judge Becker today! Be sure to sign your real name and mailing address so she will take your letter seriously. For the cost of a stamp and a few minutes of your time, you can make a difference.

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Hosting a dialogue among parents, educators and community members focused on improving our schools and providing a quality, equitable education for each of our nearly 100,000 students. ~ "ipsa scientia potestas est" ~ "Knowledge itself is power"
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15 Responses to The Face of Corruption in DeKalb County Schools

  1. ursokm16 says:

    All for a few grand in P-Card transactions (that’s all that stuck BTW). Seems like they’d want to do Boyer et al the same way.

  2. Teachers Matter says:

    This man held the educational lives of thousands of children in his hands. Disgraceful!

  3. Another comment says:

    What is even more corrupt is that the DA is still pussy footing around on this. His writing a brief siding with the defense stating that they had a deal not to give any jail time to Lewis. Well, the Judge rightly did not feel that Lewis did his portion of the deal. He did not provide useful testimony. He stated that “two board members would not let him fire Pat Reid Pope, but did not name them.” That is useless testimony. Either he is still cover himself or others, he should name them. The rookie assistant DA should have pressed this testimony. But they are covering Friends and Family. Just like they have not convened another Grand Jury, to investigate Mr. CEO Vernon Jones and all the others the first Grand Jury recommended they do.

  4. Not so casual observer says:

    It’s pretty shocking that the DeKalb DA would publicly go against a judge like this. Is he forgetting that he is the PUBLIC District Attorney? Since when does the DA support the defense? Since when does the DA essentially publicly go up against a judge’s decision? Did he first go to the judge with his opinion? Or did he go straight to the media?

  5. Another comment says:

    @not so casual it looks like the DA thinks the black friends and family rule Dekalb and it’s okay even cheered upon by his backers to go against that white female judge! After all folks are so ignorant in this county Vernon Jones made it into the Primary for Sheriff. The ignorant allowed the worst board member Joyce Morley to win in the Primary outright. Followed by the leader of the Friends and Family Melvin. Hey, Ignorance is bliss in Dekalb, as long as your skin color is dark you can win a seat, no matter how corrupt or how corrupt those you support.

  6. howdy1942 says:

    The District Attorney should focus on trying criminal cases and not defending the accused – that is the job of his defense attorney. Robert James does not have a very stellar record of trying cases of those indicted for crimes in Dekalb County and has consistently allowed key cases to drag on and on. We all recall his infamous statement that the School Board is capable of investigating itself. And, as noted by previous bloggers, he should have seized on the testimony implicating two members of the school board and launched a criminal investigation of wrongdoing. Based on even Mr. Thurmond’s statements, significant amounts of money have been spent that cannot be accounted for and the board should have been at the vanguard of protecting the interests of taxpayers, but clearly was not. Frankly, I am longing for a new district attorney that will be more focused on serving the interests of the County’s residents and less on endless procedural delays. There are plenty of avenues for Crawford Lewis and his attorneys to pursue to address any grievances and the District Attorney should have the sense to control his comments.

  7. @howdy: Yes, here is the link to Robert James’ statement that the school board can police itself:

    DeKalb DA Robert James: “It’s the board’s job to police themselves”
    Posted on February 10, 2012

    The thing is, these are tax dollars. Millions and billions of tax dollars. A full forensic audit is looooooooong overdue here.

  8. This is interesting >>

    Thursday, June 12, 2014
    DeKalb group fights corruption

    By Mark Niesse

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    A group of DeKalb County residents has formed a government watchdog group that seeks to prevent corruption and improve ethics.

    DeKalb Citizens for Good Government is beginning its work with a petition drive urging the county to create an anti-corruption police unit tasked with investigating corruption within county government.

    The group’s director is concerned citizen Aja Marie Pascale, and its founding members include former DeKalb Commissioner Gale Walldorff and other involved county residents.

  9. ursokm16 says:

    DA’s problem is overreach every time he makes an indictment. He had to backtrack on the murder in Dunwoody and he had to “backtrack to P-Cards” here. Besides this case was complicated by the questionable pre-indictment raid on his property (look it up, verryyyy unusual) and the acquisition of files that proved shall we say a “complication” for the bigger fish in the Heery case. The files had to be cleansed. In wayyyyyy over his head. Former DA Morgan was smarter in instrances where Downtown leaders and local financiers would be implicated (not to mention judges)–he just took a pass on them.

  10. anothercomment says:

    I was absolutely stunned first that the DA was not at the table at the Reid, Lewis Trial. Then when he had such a rookie prosecutor. I could not believe it when I was live streaming the trial, and she did not follow up when Lewis came up with that crazy answered that two board members did not let him fire Pat Pope Reid. How could she not ask, who are these board members? The DA, should fire this moron of an Attorney for not soliciting this testimony. No wonders the Asst. DA that tried the Dunwoody Daycare killings went to Cobb County for the same position at the same pay. He couldn’t take working with such morons. Then the DA took credit for his conviction of Neumann. His illicit ting the information from Mrs. Sniederman to convict her for lying on the stand. With the moron the DA had question Lewis, it was the most pathetic line of questioning. That girl needs to get a new line of work.

  11. We can’t just allow Crawford Lewis to get off on some kind of wimpy defense saying that he was so afraid that his wife would find out about his affairs that he let Pat Pope just run all over him. Yeah, right. Here’s what we know from a post about some testimony taken during depositions for the Heery Mitchell case at the original DSW blog >>

      -Crawford Lewis and Pat Pope knew each other long before Pat was officially hired at DeKalb – she testified and her job application was produced in which she listed herself as ‘consultant’ to the SPLOST program for DeKalb at the time of hiring.
      -Oddly though, Dr. Lewis presented her to the board as having been ‘found’ by a national search (conducted by a company called LANTA, yet no other candidates were even interviewed or discussed) – and it was an emergency decision to hire her as she was quite a great catch for the system (citing the bad SPLOST overview and report on Stan Pritchett, the DeKalb construction manager at the time.
      -Pat Pope, however, was actually presented to the board as Pat Reid (hiding the fact that she was not only married to a current multi-million dollar architect and vendor of DeKalb SPLOST projects, but that she also currently served as VP of his company, Pope Architects.
      -Surely, Dr. Lewis was aware of the Pope’s relationships and Tony Pope’s contracts, however, Lewis completely hid this from the board when he asked them to hire Pat (Reid) Pope — why? Why would Lewis keep this critical FACT from the board?
      -Lewis later came to the board saying that he had ‘found out’ about this relationship and promised that Tony would finish his current contracts and not be given more, however, Tony was given much more work and Lewis himself signed off on the contracts. What was Tony Pope to think? Lewis and the board signed his contracts and Lewis swore that his legal team had blessed it. He had no reason to believe he was doing anything illegal. However, Tony Pope is now serving years behind bars as is his former wife Pat – while Lewis has only served 5 days of a one year sentence.

    Read some of the testimony from over 4 years ago here >>

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

    And then reread our post regarding what still needs to be done in DCSS >>
    The long and winding row yet to hoe
    Posted on January 9, 2014

  12. Pat and Mike says:

    Before Crawford Lewis even cut a deal with Robert James, the DeKalb [GA] District Attorney, everyone who could read knew that Lewis could not keep his pants zipped — and that he stole taxpayers’ money (via his P-card) to pay for his trysts and affairs. Lewis’ wife and two grown children, who presumably can read, had to have known as well.

    Crawford Lewis had nothing new to reveal — nothing that had not already been revealed — and DeKalb [GA] District Attorney Robert James likely knew that before the deal was done. Any competent lawyer and any qualified district attorney or assistant DA knows the answers to courtroom questions before they are asked and answered.

    It appears that Crawford Lewis perjured himself. Perhaps DA Robert James did, too.

    Now Judge Cynthia Becker knows it — and she knows that she and the Superior Court of Georgia have been had. The question is, what is Judge Becker going to do about it? Keep in mind that Judge Becker, like DeKalb DA Robert James, is ELECTED by taxpaying voters. Judge Becker works for us, although Robert James not so much.

    Is Judge Becker going to do the right thing and give Crawford Lewis a jail term commensurate with his crime — as well as equal to or greater than jail terms given to Pat (Reid) Pope and Tony Pope?

  13. anothercomment says:

    The Friends and Family down voter is back!!! either that or it is the paid DeKalb County Schools Media person with the negative vote. Absurdity!!!

  14. anothercomment says:

    I can say one thing for sure with personal knowledge. When Crawford Lewis stated on a Channel 2 interview one day, that Pat Reid Pope, had a Purdue Engineering degree in Construction Engineering from the early 1980’s. Then I saw that she claimed to go to the Calumalt campus up near Gary, Indiana. Which would be like a Perimeter College equivalent, maybe a DeKalb Tech. I knew she and he were frauds with this statement. See I was the first female Teaching Assistant at Purdue in the Civil Engineering Departments, Construction Engineering and Management degree program. The degree was only offered for completion at the main campus at West Lafayette at that time. They had started to offer a class or two via distance learning in subjects like Mechanical Engineering for Construction Professionals down at the Indianapolis Campus. They all had to assemble at a classroom and the professor was piped in via Closed circuit TV lecture to them in the class room. Then their homework assignments were hardcopies carried to me each day to be graded, the same with quizzes and tests.

    The Construction Engineering Degree was only offered at the West Lafayette Campus at the time that Pat Reid Pope, claimed to obtain it from Purdue. Then the other facts of the matter is, in the graduate program there were only 2 females of which I was one. In the undergraduate program their was only 3-4 females maximum in each grade level. Every single female was white. With the males the only diversity at the time were some wealthy middle eastern males. There were several not even any Asian in the class. Their was one Jewish male who wore his yamika to class. Their were no Blacks of any persuasion. There was one member of the Football team, but he was white. I used to give rides to DC to a black girl, whose father was the head of the EEOC. She would comment on how she was like the only black non-athlete at Purdue. She would spend 10 hrs in the car listing everyone who was black and what major they were. She would complain on how the athletes wanted to date white. I told her she should give the white guys who asked her out a chance and go out with them.

    So I absolutely, know that Pat Pope does not have a Purdue Engineering degree.

  15. howdy1942 says:

    @anothercomment – you present a very forceful case! I am very disturbed by the failure of so many people in the DCSS to make the necessary background checks before selecting personnel for key positions. Whether it is Pat Pope/Reid or that guy who had engaged in sexual misconduct in Florida, the failures are just too glaring. In the latter case, it was the students who “Googled” the guy and learned about his background and it makes one wonder at the incompetence that lives in HR or with those making key decisions. In the case you presented, it appears that even the most shallow search would have surfaced some or all of the shortcoming that you presented.

    Thanks for sharing this.

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