A DeKalb County judge sentenced the former superintendent and chief operating officer of DeKalb County Schools to prison time on Monday for their involvement in racketeering.
Patricia Reid, former chief operating officer for the DeKalb County School District, was accused of steering multimillion-dollar projects toward her then-husband, Tony Pope.
Pope and Reid were married at the time when Reid served as the DeKalb County School District's COO and redirected more than $1.4 million in contracts to Pope's architecture firm.
Prosecutors said Reid canceled bids with construction companies and used the district's money in contracts that were awarded to a company owned by Pope.
On November 22, a DeKalb County jury found both Reid and Pope guilty of racketeering. Reid was also convicted of an additional theft charge.
On Monday, Reid was sentenced to serve 15 years and Pope to eight years.
Former DeKalb Schools Superintendent Crawford Lewis was sentenced to a year in prison on Monday.
Lewis agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of obstruction or hindering a law enforcement officer. He was arrested in 2010 and was originally charged with felony counts of theft by taking and racketeering. Lewis was accused of knowingly approving the arrangement involving Pope.
As part of his plea agreement, Lewis testified against Pope and Reid.
"This sentence sends a loud message to those who seek to manipulate and steal from the citizens of DeKalb County. Reid and Pope both devised a scheme to take $1.4 million in tax dollars to line their pockets through improper and illegal means," said DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James. "This is a big win for the students and families of our county."
Lewis' sentence of one year in prison went against state's recommendation of 12 months probation, a $500 fine, and 240 hours of community service.
DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Cynthia Becker said the corruption happened on Lewis' watch and he is responsible and must be punished.
Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
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