ATLANTA -- Jury selection began Monday for a dozen defendants in the Atlanta Public Schools cheating trial.
The teachers and administrators have been indicted on mobster-like charges, including racketeering and theft by taking. Prosecutors say they cheated students and pocketed big bonuses.
Four hundred potential jurors have been called. Jury selection is expected to take two to three weeks. The trial itself could last as long as eight months and may be one of the most expensive in state history, with six prosecutors and 12 defense attorneys, hundreds of witnesses and a million documents.
The scandal's accused ringleader, former APS superintendent Dr. Beverly Hall, has had her trial postponed indefinitely as she undergoes treatment for Stage IV breast cancer. Twenty-one other educators pleaded guilty to lesser charges, including making false statements. They are expected to be among those called to testify.
Testing coordinator Tamara Cotman was acquitted last year of a charge of influencing a witness. Another defendant, former D.H. Stanton Elementary School principal Willie Davenport, passed away in September 2013 after battling breast cancer.