Thursday, November 21, 2013

Gene Walker's Supreme Court Opinion On the Way

The Georgia Supreme Court will soon announce their opinion on the law that was used to bounce Dr. Gene Walker and other DeKalb School Board members out of office.  DunwoodyTalk sources tell us the decision could come as soon as Monday. 

Imagine the chaos and strings attached should the Georgia Supreme Court side with voters and against legislators.  The chain of events to follow would be far-reaching and again put DeKalb School District in the spotlight.

Before we get to that, a brief comment on the verdict against Pat and Tony and Crawford Lewis.  A case that was three years or so in the making was suddenly fast-tracked once Lewis decided to talk.  Some say Lewis, a former gym teacher promoted to Superintendent of the 25th largest school district in the United states of America, did not have the COGAT or ITBS scores needed to pull off such a scam of taxpayer funds.  Others say he did.  Either way, he entered a plea deal and is in a better position today than Pat and Tony.  It seems as we all knew Lewis would never serve any time for the crime.  If nothing else comes from this, hopefully DeKalb political folks will not lie, cheat, or steal as there is a very slim chance they could go to jail.

And one more thing.  Lewis, Atkinson, and Tyson NEVER acted in a way that we saw Michael Thurmond behave at the recent Druid Hills Cluster hearing/meeting.  Thurmond had his big-boy pants on, used his political swag attitude, and beat down Druid Hills like a rented mule.  Students and taxpayers are no better off today with Thurmond than we were with Lewis or Atkinson.  At least Atkinson made an attempt to get a handle on finances.  Lewis would have voted NO for Druid Hills, Atkinson would probably have said YES. But at meetings and in person Lewis was a decent guy and did not talk down to people like the current Super.  Lewis was not qualified to be Super and apparently got mixed up in some bad things while he climber the Friends and Family ladder.  We wish Lewis well and hope he and his family find peace in their lives. 

At issue is: Does OCGA 20-2-73 violate the Georgia Constitution?  We think it does violate the Georgia Constitution. Of course no one on the DunwoodyTalk staff serves on the GA Supreme Court.  In fact, none of have even been to law school or dated a person who went to law school.  But we do blog, so that means we know it all.  

If Walker Loses:
He and Jay Cunningham run for DeKalb School Board in a few months (all 7 seat are up for election in May 2014) and win easily.  Gene will be back in business with Michael Thurmond before you know it.  Nancy Jester will not run again for DeKalb board as she is running for Georgia Superintendent.  The DeKalb issue helps Jester's credibility not only in DeKalb but statewide as she was the main source who brought the financial mess to the attention of SACS.  Or, did SACS know all along DeKalb was a mess and could no longer ignore it after Jester developed a loyal following across DeKalb?  One former board member is now deceased, and she never had a fair chance to clear her name.

If Walker Wins:
When does he (and the others) regain his seat?  Does he retake office immediately?  Are the interim/appointed board members immediately removed from office?  How soon before Jay, Gene, and Co. file lawsuits against Deal and others over back pay and other issues?  How long will it take Legislators to wipe the egg from their faces?

Michael Thurmond would remain as Super as he is tight with Gene.  But look for SACS to get the boot.  Good riddance.  SACS is the Rainbow Coalition of the education field.  

Does Nancy Jester retake her county board seat and run for State School Superintendent?  Most likely.  We think she'd continue her quest to expose corruption and financial wrong-doings in DeKalb as part of her campaign.  And who runs for school board for DeKalb in the Dunwoody/Brookhaven District 1?  Although Coleman put up a decent fight for the Druid Hills Cluster folks, we don't see the young Ivy Leaguer putting up with all this nonsense for less than $20,000 a year.  We do expect a candidate from Dunwoody to emerge very soon.  And on that note, here is a nice piece on the Lewis and Pope expedition. by Stan Jester of Dunwoody.

Stan Jester, Fact Checker

If Walker wins the Georgia general Assembly will be quite embarrassed.  After all, this narrow piece of legislation was put forth with one purpose only - to take Gene & Co. out of office.  A lot of political pull was used.  How would a Gene victory affect the Independent School District effort?  We have that blog post already written, waiting for our editor to hit the 'publish' button.


Anonymous said...

Walker and Cunningham will likely have to run against each other as they live in the same neighborhood. The Board is being reduced to 7 seats an the current plan eliminates the at large seats I believe.

The attorney who spoke at Emory LaVista Parents Council gave several scenarios about how the Court could side with the Governor. There is also the possibility that the Court can wait until the next session to release their decision which, depending on the timing, would render it nearly irrelevant --though the returning Board members could do damage in the few months they would sit on the Board.

The Druid Hills Charter Cluster discussion would have gone much worse if the old Board is in place. The vote would have been 6 to 3 at the very best. (Mayfield took Walker's seat and Walker would have never supported this.) Of course, with the old board in place, the Druid Hills people probably wouldn't have even tried.

I hope that there is an organized, meaningful effort across DeKalb to elect solid board members.

Dunwoody Mom said...

Or, did SACS know all along DeKalb was a mess and could no longer ignore it after Jester developed a loyal following across DeKalb?

This^^^. I place a lot of blame on SACS for the mess in DeKalb Schools. Had they acted years ago then perhaps the school district could have found their, it's hopeless.

Thurmond is a disaster.