by: Mark Winne Updated:
ATLANTA - Indictments will soon be handed up in connection with the Atlanta Public School cheating scandal, according to a defense attorney in the case.
On Monday, defense attorney Bob Rubin told Channel 2’s Mark Winne a prosecutor has confirmed the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office will seek indictments of several educators this week. A key state official has also provided important information about potential prosecutions.
A state investigation implicated 178 educators, including 38 principals in 2011. Many were accused of falsifying scores on standardized state tests. The Fulton County District Attorney's Office conducted a criminal investigation, hiring an expert in the state's racketeering law.
Rubin said the prosecutor indicated the case would be presented to a Fulton County grand jury this week as prosecutors seek indictment of several educators, including some of his clients. He suggested they are innocent. Rubin said though she did not use the word “racketeering” in their conversation, it’s clear that’s the kind of case the prosecutor was describing.
An official with the state agency that gives public school teachers permits offered a broader timeline of the upcoming developments.
“It does appear from the information we got that if those cases move forward, it will happen within the next month,” said Kelly Henson, executive secretary for the Georgia Professional Standards Commission.
Henson said that information came from the Georgia Attorney General’s Office.
In addition to facing criminal prosecution, numerous educators have already faced disciplinary action from the PSC, along with the school system. Some were suspended, fired or lost their teaching certifications. Teachers who cooperated with investigators were eligible to negotiate an agreement with the Attorney General's Office to lessen their punishments.
Some teachers chose to appeal their cases. Earlier this month, Channel 2 Action News learned some school principals once accused of wrongdoing have quietly been rehired. APS officials said there have been at least 21 reinstatements.
Henson said the PSC still has 26 cases undecided, including those of several ranking administrators. He said the District Attorney’s Office has not yet released potentially important information on those on those cases.