APS administrators sue district for millions in hearing dispute


(Pictured left to right) Sharon Davis Williams, Tamara Cotman and Michael Pitts are suing Atlanta Public Schools for millions of dollars in a hearing dispute stemming from CRCT cheating allegations.

ATLANTA - The lawyer for three Atlanta Public Schools administrators says his clients are suing the district and its superintendent for millions because they didn't get the hearings they were promised.

Attorney George Lawson said he’s been fighting to save the reputation of those administrators for the past ten months.  Letters from APS Superintendent Erroll Davis charge Tamara Cotman, Michael Pitts and Sharon Davis Williams with incompetency, insubordination and willful neglect of duties in the 2009 CRCT cheating test scandal.

The letter scheduled a hearing for them and their attorney last year, but the district requested delays twice.

“We’ve never requested an extension,” Lawson said about the hearings centered on the cheating allegations that each of his clients strongly deny.

Lawson said those hearings still haven’t happened. Now, those administrators have been notified their employment ends June 30.

Channel 2’s Mark Winne spoke with each of the clients, who said the situation has left them very upset.

“I want to know why Atlanta Public Schools doesn't want to give us our hearing. What are they fearing?,” Cotman said.

“I’ve been judged and slandered without any credible evidence,” added Sharon Davis Williams.

“Quite frankly I’ve never met the new superintendent, so it’s very hard for me to fathom how I was insubordinate or how he can even deem me to be incompetent,” Pitts said.

The administrators, who have been on paid leave and paid full-time all year for no work, said they are ready to return to the jobs they love so much.

“I don’t feel worthwhile sitting at home not doing what I’m trained to do,” Pitts said.

Cotman, meanwhile, said she is "deeply wounded" by the outcome, as Davis Williams tries to "pray a lot" and stay hopeful.

Lawson said he plans to ask a judge to order Atlanta Public Schools to give his clients their hearings before a district tribunal.

When asked for the school district's comment on the issue, APS spokesman Keith Bromery said he could not comment on the pending legal matter.


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