DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - A grand jury has reindicted former DeKalb County Superintendent Crawford Lewis in connection with a school construction investigation, according to Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne.
Lewis was originally charged with three others in May 2010. Prosecutors said Lewis and former DeKalb School Chief Operating officer Pat Pope funneled work to Pope's ex-husband and vendors in exchange for cash and gifts. Pope’s husband, Tony Pope, and Pat Pope’s former secretary, Cointa Moody, were also charged.
The new indictment includes four counts of racketeering, one count of theft by taking by a government employee and one count of bribery. The new superseding indictment drops charges against Moody and charges of falsifying a public document against the group. Moody is now expected to testify as a witness.
Winne questioned Tony Pope on Tuesday about the charges. "Not guilty. Looking forward for it to be over," he said.
Lewis' attorney, Mike Brown, told Winne, "We are surprised that nearly two years after the first indictment they've come out with a new indictment. We will loko at it and respond accordingly."
The original indictment included more than 700 pages of exhibits, including construction contract changes signed by Pat Pope and Lewis without getting School Board approval. Prosecutors said that $80 million in contracts were obtained through some type of fraud and that Tony Pope made over $2 million in the deals.
The DeKalb County School Board voted in April 2010 to terminate Lewis’ contract when both sides agreed to end their relationship. Lewis was on paid leave for more than a month after investigators with the district attorney’s office searched his home and school offices as part of the construction investigation.