Dr. Beverly Hall, others report to jail in APS cheating scandal –
Hall and 34 other educators were indicted on Friday, accused of cheating, conspiring to cheat, or concealing cheating on the 2009 CRCT test. The 90-page indictment accuses the former national superintendent of the year of operating a criminal enterprise, allegedly rewarding teachers who cheated, and punishing and even firing teachers who did not.
Those indicted in connection with the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal were ordered to turn themselves in by midnight on Tuesday. By 3 p.m. on Wednesday, all 35 educators had turned themselves in.
Hall arrived just before 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday night. Her attorney, J. Tom Morgan, told FOX 5 that he met with Hall on Monday and they had a good meeting. Her bond has been reduced to $ 200,000 from the original $ 7.5 million recommended by the grand jury.
“I haven’t seen that in cases of genocide. The bond that we have now…is very reasonable considering there been no violent crime, there’s no prior history or anything like that,” Morgan said.
Hall didn’t answer any questions as she walked to the jail.
Back in 2011, Hall denied any involvement in the alleged cheating scandal.
“I am confident that aggressive, swift action will be taken against anyone who believed so little in our students and in our system of support that they turned to dishonesty as the only option,” Hall said in a videotaped statement back in 2011.
Hall faces four charges, including violation of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, false statements and writings, false swearing and theft by taking.
Hall posted bond and left jail shortly before 11 p.m.
OTHER INDICTED EDUCATORS SURRENDER
While much of the attention was focused on Hall, dozens of other educators indicted in the cheating scandal began arriving early Tuesday.
Tameka Goodson, a school improvement specialist at Kennedy Middle School, turned herself in at the Fulton County Jail shortly after midnight. She was accompanied by her lawyer. The 40-year-old is facing charges of racketeering and making false statements and writings. She is being held on a $ 200,000 bond.
Goodson’s lawyer, Raymond Lail, says she is ready to put the affair behind her.
“She’s anxious about this, of course, since she heard about this. Very distraught over it. It’s as close she’s been to a jail in her life. Been an educator since her graduation from college. Been an educator for 20 years or so, now. Very unfortunate. She’s absolutely not guilty of these charges and we are looking forward to going forward with this case,” said Lail.
Some hid from the glare of cameras, others walked in with their heads held high.
As the day wore on, high bonds became an issue. One attorney said that a famous mobster got an easier deal.
“Al Capone, as I understand it, didn’t have to post a million dollar bond but they got that here that the bond is a million dollars,” said attorney Warren Fortson.
He also expressed outrage at his client’s high bound amount.
“It’s a way of punishing people so that they can’t bond out. She doesn’t have $ 200,000. She doesn’t have the $ 20,000 or $ 30,000 the bonding company needs. Absolutely ridiculous,” Lail said.
Some educators had their bonds reduced.
“It was a $ 300,000 bond, it’s $ 50,000 now,” said attorney William Boddie.
Attorney Derek Jones lashed out at all the publicity.
“This matter will be tried and dealt with in a public forum of a court room, not in the media. The fact that there is this circus here just shows that there’s something wrong,” Jones said.
Willie Davenport, the former D.H. Stanton Elementary School principal, tried to turn herself in Wednesday morning but according to her attorney, she was turned away because of errors with her warrant. Dr. Davenport, who is a woman, was apparently listed as a man on the warrant, and her social security number was not correct. She is expected to return to the jail sometime Wednesday afternoon.
Those who have surrendered to authorities include:
– Dr. Beverly Hall, former Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent ($ 200,000 bond – bonded out)
– Millicent Few, Esq. – Human Resources executive staff ($ 10,000 bond – bonded out)
– Dr. Sharon Davis-Williams, School Resource Team executive director (bonded out)
– Michael Pitts, School Resource Team executive director (bonded out)
– Tamara Cotman, School Resource Team executive director (bonded out)
– Tameka Goodson, Kennedy Middle School school improvement specialist ($ 200,000 bond – bonded out)
– Donald Bullock, Usher-Collier Heights Elementary School testing coordinator ($ 1 million bond)
– Theresia Copeland, Benteen Elementary School testing coordinator ($ 1 million bond — bonded out)
– Gregory Reid, Parks Middle School assistant principal ($ 1 million bond — bonded out)
– Sandra Ward, Parks Middle School testing coordinator ($ 10,000 bond — bonded out)
– Lisa Terry, Humphries Elementary School teacher ($ 50,000 bond – bonded out)
– Ingrid Abella-Sly, Humphries Elementary School teacher ($ 50,000 bond – bonded out)
– Sheridan Rogers, Gideons Elementary testing coordinator ($ 50,000 bond)
– Starlette Mitchell, Parks Middle School teacher ($ 50,000 bond – bonded out)
– Wendy Ahmed, Humphries Elementary teacher ($ 50,000 bond — bonded out)
– Armstead Salters, Gideons Elementary principal (bonded out)
– Tabeeka Jordan, Deerwood Elementary assistant principal ($ 10,000 bond – bonded out)
– Dessa Curb, Dobbs Elementary teacher ($ 60,000 bond – bonded out)
– Gloria Ivey, Dunbar Elementary teacher ($ 50,000 bond – bonded out)
– Sheila Evans, Benteen Elementary teacher ($ 400,000 bond – bonded out)
– Carol Dennis, Kennedy Middle School secretary ($ 20,000 bond – bonded out)
– Angela Williamson, Dobbs Elementary School teacher ($ 60,000 bond – bonded out)
– Christopher Waller, Parks Middle School principal (bonded out)
– Pamela Cleveland, Dunbar Elementary teacher (bonded out)
– Shani Robinson, Dunbar Elementary teacher (bonded out)
– Dana Evans, Dobbs Elementary principal (bonded out)
– Francis Mack, D.H. Stanton Elementary testing coordinator (bonded out)
– Kimberly Oden, Parks Middle teacher (bonded out)
– Shayla Smith, Dobbs Elementary teacher (bonded out)
– Derrick Broadwater, Dobbs Elementary teacher (bonded out)
– Diane Buckner-Webb, Dunbar Elementary teacher (bonded out)
– Clarietta Davis, Venetian Elementary principal (bonded out)
– Lera Middlebrooks, Dunbar Elementary testing coordinator (bonded out)
– Dr. Luscious Brown, Kennedy Middle principal (bonded out)
– Willie Davenport, D.H. Stanton principal (bonded out)