APS cheating hearings continue Wednesday - CBS46 News

Fulton County judge asked to toss out APS cheating case

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Hearings continue in APS cheating case Hearings continue in APS cheating case

A number of attorneys told a Fulton County judge on Wednesday that the case against Atlanta educators accused of cheating should be thrown out.

They cited various legal reasons the indictment against 35 educators is flawed.  Among those presenting arguments were attorneys for former school superintendent Beverly Hall.

"If we don't have specific allegations of dates, the allegations are vague, uncertain, indefinite and Dr. Hall is going to be unable to prepare herself for this trial," said attorney Jamila Hall.

The educators are accused of changing answers on standardized tests or pressuring others to do so. The charges include racketeering and making false statements.

Hall's attorneys also argued the governor had no power to launch a GBI investigation and that in some cases, the statute of limitations has run out.

"He can't launch his own independent, wholesale investigation into any other entity whatsoever, any other department, any other agency, any other instrumentality, any school system," Hall's attorney David Bailey told the court.

Attorney Brian Steel, who represents one of the educators, argued the statements educators made to GBI investigators were coerced.  He said the employees were told they would lose their jobs if they did not cooperate.

"Every statement gathered in this investigation is a compelled statement and therefore immunized and must not be known to the criminal prosecutors," said Steel. "If the employee did not cooperate fully, they were subject to termination for insubordination."

Judge Jerry Baxter did not dismiss the case or rule on the motions argued Wednesday. He said he would like the advice of the Georgia Court of Appeals or the state Supreme Court.

On Tuesday, a number of witnesses testified they had no conflict of interest in the case. The judge was concerned about conflicts since some of the lawyers previously represented those who may be called to the witness stand.

Among those who appeared on Tuesday was former Atlanta Public Schools Deputy Superintendent Kathy Augustine, who worked closely with Hall. She told the court she would be willing to testify.

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