VERDICT: RICO: GUILTY, Influencing witnesses: GUILTY
SENTENCE: 20 years with seven to serve, 13 years probation, 2,000 hours of community service and a $25,000 fine for RICO. Five years to serve concurrently for influencing witnesses. He was sentenced as a first offender.
Michael Pitts, a School Resource Team Executive Director, was accused of telling teachers to stop complaining and writing letters regarding allegations of bullying from Parks Middle School officials.
Regional supervisor Michael Pitts had told Dobbs teachers not to talk to GBI investigators “because nothing is basically going to happen to anybody,” Derrick Broadwater testified in December. And besides, the former fourth-grade teacher said, he didn’t want to get in trouble himself.
Broadwater testified that Pitts said, “While teachers are running around telling the GBI things about the different principals, nothing’s going to happen to those principals. They’re still there.”
Although Pitts’ attorney George Lawson later suggested that 12 Atlanta principals were actually removed from their schools around that time, Broadwater said he believed Pitts had the power to set the course of a teacher’s career. So he repeatedly told investigators he didn’t know about cheating at Dobbs.
Pitts faced one count of racketeering and one count of influencing witnesses