Breaking News
More () »

Atlanta's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Atlanta, Georgia | 11alive.com

Former APS educator convicted in cheating scandal released on parole

'The Board exercised its discretion to make parole decisions and released her at this time based on her institutional success'.

ATLANTA — Another Atlanta Public Schools educator who was convicted in the infamous 2015 cheating scandal has been released on parole. 

Tamara Cotman, a former regional superintendent, was sentenced to 10 years with three to be served behind bars.

According to Steve Hayes, a spokesperson for the State Board of Pardons and Paroles, her three-year sentence is from Sept. 24, 2018, to Sept. 23, 2021. However, she was released on parole on Jan. 2 of this year.

Hayes said Cotman became eligible for parole on Sept. 24, 2019. 

"The Board exercised its discretion to make parole decisions and released her at this time based on her institutional success," he said in a statement. "The board's release decisions are based on what's in the best interest of public safety."

11Alive was there the day Cotman turned herself in to the Fulton County Jail. She was surrounded by supporters. 

RELATED: 2 former APS employees convicted in cheating scandal turn themselves in

"We want to assure Ms. Tamara and Ms. Angela that God had not forsaken them," Rev. Tim McDonald of First Iconium Baptist Church said back in Oct. 2018. "That God has not turned His back on them."

Last summer, Angela Williamson was the first teacher to be released on early parole.

Cotman and Williamson were two of the 11 educators convicted in connection scandal. They both appealed to the state Supreme Court but lost that legal battle.

RELATED: APS educator convicted in cheating scandal first to leave jail early on parole

Gerald Griggs, Williamson's attorney, wants to have the Fulton County Conviction Integrity Unit review all of the convictions regarding the cheating scandal. He said plans on consulting with his client to discuss filing the official paperwork. 

According to its website, the Conviction Integrity Unit investigates "actual innocence or wrongful convictions by convicted defendants who have already been through their trial and appellate processes."


Failed redemption: Programs meant to help cheated APS students missed target

Woman hired to help with secret Atlanta dinner party speaks out against organizer: 'I think he's robbing people'

Sophie Speaks: How a Georgia mother allowed her boyfriend to impregnate her 10-year-old