ATLANTA -- The former Atlanta Public Schools human resources chief has pleaded guilty in connection to the district's cheating scandal.
Former Atlanta Public Schools Chief Human Resources Officer Millicent Few agreed to plead guilty Monday to a reduced misdemeanor charge, according to the Fulton County District Attorney's Office. As part of the deal, Few agreed to cooperate in the case against the remaining defendants.
Back in July, 35 APS educators and administrators, including former Superintendent Beverly Hall, were indicted on numerous charges, including racketeering, theft by taking, influencing witnesses and making false statements. A state investigation in 2011 found cheating on standardized tests by nearly 180 educators in 44 Atlanta schools. Investigators said educators gave answers to students or changed answers on tests after they were turned in. Investigators say teachers who tried to report the cheating faced retaliation, creating a culture of fear and intimidation among employees in the district.
Few is expected to testify against Hall, her former boss. According to a statement released by the Fulton County District Attorney's Office, Few will say that she saw Hall order the destruction of internal investigative reports, which concluded "a substantial likelihood that cheating occurred" during the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) at Deerwood Academy in 2009.
Hall has denied knowing about cheating in school systems. Her lawyer, Richard Deane, issued a statement on Monday saying,"We have heard through news accounts that Millicent Few has resolved the felony conspiracy and false statement charges against her by pleading guilty to a misdemeanor, paying $800 restitution, and agreeing to perform community service. This does not change Dr. Hall's resolve to continue to fight the charges against her. She is presumed innocent and continues to look forward to her day in court."
Under Few's plea agreement, she'll serve one year probation, perform 250 hours of community service and pay $800 in restitution to APS. She is also ordered to submit an apology letter to the court. If completes those terms, the conviction will not go on her record.
With Few's plea, 19 of those originally indicted in the scandal have agreed to plea deals, leaving 15 defendants to face trial. One of the defendants, Willie Davenport, passed away in September.
Friday is the deadline for all the remaining defendants to come forward if they want plea deals. After that, they'll have to go to trial.
INDICTMENT SUMMARY |Read the details of APS indictments
APS CRCT Cheating 2011 Investigation Reports:- Report