Two Dekalb County Schools Racketeering Charges Overturned

Two Racketeering Convictions in Dekalb County Schools Scandal Overturned

racketeeringAfter two people were convicted on racketeering charges for their involvement in the Dekalb County public schools construction scandal last year, court investigations led the judge to believe that there was a “lack of complete and truthful evidence” in some of the testimony.

Judge Cynthia Becker has called for the immediate release of Patricia Reid and her ex-husband, Tony Pope. Former superintendent Crawford Lewis testified during the racketeering trial, and the testimony was a major component of the two suspects’ convictions on the racketeering charges. However, Judge Becker now believes that Lewis’s testimony was not entirely truthful, meaning the suspects must be released.

Reid was originally sentenced to 15 years in federal prison, while Pope was sentenced to 8 years for the racketeering charges.

Although Reid and Pope can have a retrial on the racketeering charges now, Lewis was a key witness and he now lacks credibility. Lewis was also tried and sentenced to one year in prison, for knowingly signing off on a scheme allegedly created by Reid, then Dekalb Schools’ Chief Operating Officer Patricia Pope, to funnel work to her husband Tony, who was an architect.

According to the prosecution, fraudulent payments totaled $2.3 million.

Becker said that she will schedule a retrial for Pope and Reid, and at the same time honor the original plea deal that Lewis made with prosecutors. Lewis was originally also charged with racketeering and theft, but the plea deal reduced his charges to one misdemeanor charge of obstructing the DA’s investigation, which he pleaded guilty to.

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