Former Atlanta educators, now indicted on charges related to cheating children for their own financial benefit, have begun surrendering to the Fulton County Jail for processing.More >>
Former Atlanta educators, now indicted on charges related to cheating children for their own financial benefit, have surrendered to the Fulton County Jail for processing.More >>
ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) -
All 35 former Atlanta educators, now indicted on charges related to cheating children for their own financial benefit, have surrendered and bonded out of the Fulton County Jail.
Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard told the 35 indicted educators to surrender on Tuesday, but four of them surrendered on Wednesday morning.
Some of them hid behind umbrellas as the entered the jail. Former superintendent Beverly Hall walked into jail with a smile on her face.
Willie Davenport, the former principal of D.H. Stanton Elementary School, attempted to turn herself in Wednesday morning, but was turned away because of wrong information on the warrant. She was told to check back in later in the afternoon and shortly before 3:30 p.m., she bonded out of jail.
The educators were charged with false statements and writings, along with racketeering, a charge that each of the 35 educators faces.
Attorney J. Tom Morgan walked with Hall to the jail just after 7 p.m. Tuesday. Hall's bond was set at $200,000. That's down significantly from the grand jury's recommended bond of $7.5 million.
"The 7.5 million? No! I haven't seen that in cases of genocide," Morgan said. "The bond that we have now that the D.A.'s office has agreed to is very reasonable considering there has been no violent crime."
Prosecutors said that Hall ran the school district as a criminal enterprise, condoning cheating by teachers and administrators so that she and others could get bonuses for improved test scores.
Hall bonded out just before midnight Tuesday.
Goodson was the first indicted educator to turn herself into the jail about 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, escorted by her attorney, Raymond Lail.
"She's been anxious about this, of course, since she's heard about this. [She's] very distraught over it," said Lail. "It's the closest she's ever been to a jail in her life."
Most of the 35 have already bonded out of jail.
Defendants with cash bonds were told they had to present the Fulton County Sheriff's Office with a cashier's check for the full amount plus applicable fees.
If the defendant didn't have a cash bond, then they aren't eligible for the 10 percent program, a property bond or a bonding company's services.
Attorneys couldn't petition the superior court judge assigned to the case for a bond modification hearing at the Fulton County Courthouse.