Indicted APS educators claim DA has conflict in cheating case - CBS46 News

Indicted APS educators claim DA has conflict in cheating case

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ATLANTA (CBS46) -

Atlanta Public Schools educators accused of cheating on standardized tests claim Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard has a conflict in the case and that his office shouldn't be involved in prosecution.

Monday will start the preliminary hearings in the case of the 35 APS teachers, administrators and even former superintendent Beverly Hall – all accused of cheating on the 2009 CRCT.

CBS Atlanta received a copy of a motion filed on Friday that will likely be discussed during hearings this week.

The motion was filed on behalf of former Dunbar Elementary School educator Pamela Cleveland and points out that Howard's wife Petrina was a counselor at M. Agnes Jones Elementary School.

The motion said that at Cleveland's school, one educator admitted to cheating, but five were slapped with criminal charges.

In contrast, the motion said that at M. Agnes Jones Elementary, six educators admitted to cheating and no one was given a criminal charge. The motion implies that because of the DA's wife's relationship with educators there, no charges were filed.

Defense attorneys also claim they were informed on June 5 that one of the reserve witnesses from the DA's office was Howard's wife.

Preliminary hearings are expected to continue through Wednesday. Defendant's are expected to enter plea deals or decide to go to trial by the beginning of 2014, and, if they do decide to go to trial, it is expected to begin on May 5, 2014.

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