Former GA Tech employee fighting to clear name - CBS46 News

Former GA Tech employee fighting to clear name after criminal charges dropped

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A former administrator at a Georgia Tech research facility said his career and his reputation were destroyed after the GBI arrested him on charges that were later dropped.

Chris Evans, 60, of Marietta, was cleared of criminal wrongdoing in 2012 - two years after he was arrested and charged with racketeering relating to his position at the institute.

In 2010, state authorities told CBS Atlanta that Evans, professor Joy Laskar and researcher Stephane Pinel funneled $2 million from the university to Sayana Wireless, a company owned by Laskar and Pinel. 

The state attorney general later dropped charges against Evans after Evans said he provided information proving he did nothing criminal. 

Despite being cleared, Evans said he has not been able to find full-time employment.

"It's debilitating," said Evans. "No matter what you do, you're going to have that stigma that you did something wrong."  

Evans said he believes the GBI botched its investigation and rushed to arrest him before knowing the facts.

Earlier this month, a DeKalb County judge issued a blow to Evans' attempt to hold the GBI accountable by refusing to force the agency to turn over its investigative file on Evans.

Evans' attorney, Harrison Kohler, told reporter Jeff Chirico that he wants to see the file to determine how detectives investigated the case.

"It's certainly our suspicion that the GBI didn't do its job or at least didn't do its job competently," said Kohler. 

An assistant attorney general argued in court that the files are protected because they're part of an ongoing investigation into Laskar and Pinel, who still have not been indicted more than three years after their arrests.   

Laskar, who filed a lawsuit against the institute, said in a statement he believes arresting him was the easiest way for university officials to justify getting rid of a tenured professor they didn't like. Evans said he believes he was ousted because he worked with Laskar. 

GBI spokeswoman Sherry Lang told Chirico the agency "stands behind our agents' work and have confidence in how the investigation was handled."

A statement from Georgia Tech reads, "Although the Institute does not comment on complex personnel matters, [Evans' termination] was based on violations of Institute and Board of Regents' policies, and not upon any potential criminal charges."

But Evans said he contends missteps by the Georgia Tech administration, the attorney general and the GBI have hurt his family and his once promising career. 

Evans said he plans to file a lawsuit but would not go into more detail. 

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