APS educators trying to get indictments dismissed - CBS46 News

APS educators trying to get indictments dismissed

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Attorneys for former Atlanta Public Schools superintendent Beverly Hall and other APS employees indicted in connection with the 2009 Criterion Referenced Competency Test (CRCT) cheating scandal want the indictment thrown out.

"This case represents the most abuse of the grand jury process," said defense attorney Brian Steel. "You will see letters to the APS employees telling them not to let individual criminal defense lawyers come to the schools to interview employees."

Steel told Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter that school employees were told they would lose their jobs if they didn't cooperate with state investigators.

Michael Bowers is one of those investigators appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal. He took the witness stand and read a letter APS sent to employees before the state started its investigation.

"All employees are advised to cooperate with any and all investigations conducted by or on behalf of APS including any investigation related to student testing or risk being found insubordinate," said Bowers.

A total of 34 school employees were indicted and charged with racketeering and giving false statements.

"Each defendant has to initially make the point, I incriminated myself as a result of being coerced. None of these defendants contend that, and in fact they didn't," said Fulton County prosecutor John Floyd. "The interviews they went to, they were accompanied by counsel."

Floyd argued when the indicted employees talked to investigators they did not incriminate themselves.

"Two of them, to the extent that they answered any questions, said they didn't do anything wrong so there's no self incrimination.

The hearing will continue Tuesday.

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