Crawford Lewis and crew were at the helm during DeKalb Schools’ darkest days of corruption. Oddly, at the same time, SACS fully accredited the DeKalb School District with no warnings saying “Effective leadership at all levels”.
Rhonda Cook of the AJC is reporting today
Former DeKalb Schools Superintendent Crawford Lewis has agreed to plead guilty to one charge of obstructing a law-enforcement officer, a misdemeanor that would end one part of a nearly three-year-old legal case that alleged corruption in the district’s construction management.
Still facing charges are former DeKalb construction manager Pat Reid and her architect husband Tony Pope, who were both charged with fraud and racketeering for allegedly steering construction business to Pope’s firm in violation of state law and the district’s procurement rules.
Reid was the district’s chief operations officer, a job put her in charge of the district’s construction program. Both Pope and Reid have pleaded not guilty. A trial is scheduled to begin Oct. 28.
Oct. 8, 2004: Crawford Lewis becomes DeKalb superintendent and later hires Pat Reid to oversee construction of new schools funded by the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.
Dec. 22, 2008: Lewis tells school lawyers that Reid tried to blackmail him and wanted to hire her friends for SPLOST work.
May 2010: Lewis, Reid, her husband Tony Pope and Reid’s assistant are indicted. (The assistant is later dismissed from the case.) Lewis is fired.
August 2011: After operating more than a year with an interim superintendent, the DeKalb school board, under pressure from an accreditation agency to select a permanent successor to Lewis, hires Cheryl Atkinson.
May 2012: The DeKalb district attorney brings a superseding indictment against Lewis and the others.
December 2012: The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, citing mismanagement of the district, puts DeKalb on probation.
February 2013: Atkinson resigns. The school board hires former Georgia Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond as interim superintendent.
July 18, 2013: Yet another amended indictment is issued, shrinking the case against Lewis, Reid and Pope.
Oct.7, 2013: The school board makes Thurmond superintendent, dropping the “interim” from his title and extending his contract into 2015.
Oct. 16, 2013: Lewis pleads guilty to a misdemeanor. He will be sentenced only after he testifies in the trial against Reid and Pope, set to start Oct. 28.