Judge might dismiss indictment against APS educators in cheating - CBS46 News

Judge might dismiss indictment against APS educators in cheating scandal

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Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter told prosecutors he is concerned about their case against the 35 Atlanta Public School educators charged with conspiracy and racketeering.

"You're saying everything is tainted - the whole investigation is tainted the interviews need to be disqualified and the indictment thrown out?" Baxter asked attorney Richard Deane.

Deane is one of former APS Superintendent Beverly Hall's attorneys.

"The brief that I filed Friday does actually request that, unless the prosecution can establish that everything that happened in that grand jury was free from taint," said Deane.

The judge is hearing a motion filed by attorneys for Hall and other educators accused in connection with cheating on the Criterion Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) in 2009.

The indicted educators claim they were forced to talk to state investigators or risk losing their jobs.

Their attorney say those interviews, which could incriminate the accused, should not have been presented to the grand jury which handed down one 65-count indictment.

"Being told to show up and answer questions is not coercion period, as a matter of law. It's not coercion. Cooperation is not coercion and that's the fallacy that underlines the defendant's claim," said Fulton County prosecutor John Floyd.

"It's a little disturbing how it(the interviews) was handled. That's a fact, isn't it? That the prosecution was aware that this was an issue," said Baxter.

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