Crawford Lewis takes stand in school corruption trial

by: Erica Byfield Updated:

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DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - A former superintendent dropped some bomb shells during his testimony in a high-profile corruption trial with ties to the state's third-largest school district.

Crawford Lewis' testimony was significant because up until a few weeks ago he was a defendant in the case.

Patricia Reid and her ex-husband Tony Pope are on trial. They are facing racketeering and theft by taking charges.

Lewis cut a deal with the state in October and agreed to testify against Reid and Pope.

Reid used to work under Lewis at the DeKalb Schools. Pope is an architect.

The state alleges Reid used her power as the COO of the school district to funnel more than $1 million worth of work to Pope.

On Thursday, Lewis told jurors about something he said Reid supposedly told him.

"She told me that she had not done anything illegal or immoral and even if she did there were not people smart enough to figure out what she had done," Lewis said.

Earlier in the day Lewis said he was upset when he learned Pope was doing work for the school system.

Lewis then said he wanted to fire Reid. A prosecutor asked him why.

"For a couple of reasons for and for most because I had lost confidence in Mrs. Pope," said Lewis.

As a result of the next few questions, jurors learned Reid found out Lewis wanted to let her go and then she asked to meet the former superintendent in a parking lot.

Lewis then said Reid threatened him.

"Mrs. Pope said to me that DeKalb Schools was certainly not the first place that she has worked and where she had worked in other places she always carried with her a little black box ... she said to me I was in her black box as were other members of the board of education," he said.

Lewis added he felt compelled to talk to his wife.

"Honestly, I felt that Mrs. Pope's comments were threatening in nature ... I needed to tell my wife that I had been involved in an inappropriate relationship with a staff member," Lewis said.

Defense attorneys questioned Lewis after lunch.

Pope's attorney, J. Tom Morgan, brought up Lewis' decision to cut a deal with the state.

"Instead of 65 years you could potentially not have a record at all?" Morgan said.

A short time later the judge dismissed the jury for the day.

Testimony resumes with Lewis on the stand at 8:30 a.m. Friday.