Ex- DeKalb school chief indicted

DECATUR, Ga. -- An indictment released Wednesday charges former DeKalb County Superintendent Crawford Lewis and two other DeKalb County School System employees with several counts of racketeering and bribery.

Named in the indictment are Patricia Pope, former chief operating officer of the DeKalb County schools, and her former secretary Cointa Moody. Anthony Pope, Patricia Pope's former husband, also is named.

Prosecutors accuse Lewis of conspiring with Patricia Pope to direct millions of dollars worth of school construction dollars toward Anthony Pope.

DeKalb authorities said Crawford faces at least four counts of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, and two counts of theft by a government employee and bribery. Others face similar charges, as well as charges of falsifying public documents.

Anthony Pope faces at least four RICO charges, according to officials.

None of those charged immediately returned messages left by The Associated Press Wednesday.

In April, the DeKalb County school board voted unanimously to terminate superintendent Lewis. It came after he was placed on paid leave in February, the same day investigators from the district attorney's office searched his home and school offices as part of an investigation into possible wrongdoing involving the district's multimillion-dollar construction program.

The board described Lewis as a distraction in asking him to leave.

School spokesman Dale Davis declined comment Wednesday.

District Attorney Gwen Keyes Fleming told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Anthony Pope received $2.39 million in fraudulent school funds - all via contracts signed by Lewis and Reid.

Wednesday's indictment includes allegations that Patricia Pope ordered construction bid scoring changed to benefit her former husband.

 

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