ATLANTA - A Fulton County jury has reached a not guilty verdict in the case of a former Atlanta Public Schools administrator implicated in a district-wide cheating scandal.
Former APS area director Tamara Cotman was accused of witness-influencing during the GBI's investigation into wide-spread cheating on CRCT exams.
Prosecutors said Cotman knew about test cheating and intimidated witnesses before the investigation.
"We are disappointed in the verdict but this is just one part of what we always thought would be a very very long battle," District Attorney Paul Howard said.
Cotman showed no emotion as the baliff read the jury's verdict.
"I feel vindicated," Cotman said. "When you are falsely accused and attacked and your name is scandalized, that's very hard. I still believe the truth will set the campus free. Thats' where I've been and where I'll continue to be."
The jury of eight women and four men started deliberating about 1 p.m. on Thursday. They reviewed 170 pieces of evidence over six hours.
Cotman will stand trial next summer on cheating-related charges along with 34 other school administrators and teachers.
Michael Pitts is one of those administrators. He told Channel 2's Richard Elliot the charges are without merit.
"Some of the other side of this story is coming out. We haven't had a chance to really defend ourselves," Pitts said.
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