Defendant in Dekalb County corruption case admits co-defendant's financial trouble

by: Erica Byfield Updated:

Both defendants involved in a high profile corruption case in DeKalb County took the stand.

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - One of the defendants in a high-profile corruption case in DeKalb County admitted her co-defendant's company was in huge financial trouble at a time they are accused of stealing money.

Patricia Reid and Tony Pope are on trial.

Reid worked for DeKalb County Schools, and Pope is an architect.

The state alleges they conspired together to steal more than a million dollars from taxpayers. Pope and Reid are facing racketeering and theft by taking charges.

Thursday marked the ninth day of the trial.

Reid took the stand late Wednesday and finished her testimony late Thursday.

Previously, Pope testified.

Reid told jurors that she was not guilty of anything the state says she did.

"Did you negotiate and say, 'Tony Pope needs to get some of that money?'" asked Reid's attorney, Tony Axam.

"No," Reid said.

Prosecutors questioned her on a range of topics that included where they believed there would be a conflict of interest if Pope worked for the district after she was hired and if she knew her then-husband's company owed the federal government more than $360,000 in unpaid payroll taxes.

Reid said she there could be an appearance of a conflict of interest, but she did not think that there was because she did not do anything wrong.

Chief Assistant District Attorney Kellie Hill asked Reid what she knew about Pope's architecture firm's debt.

"I knew it was in debt, yes" said Reid.

"And you knew that the debt was to the tune of over $300,000," Hill responded.

"I wasn't familiar with the exact amount, but I knew it was a lot," Reid told her.

Reid served as the chief operations officer for the DeKalb County School District from 2005 until 2010.

She spent five hours on the stand on Thursday.

Pope sat silently in the courtroom during Reid's testimony.

The jurors will hear closing arguments Friday morning.



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