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Two former DCSS employees indicted

ALBANY -- Two former employees of the Dougherty School System were handed indictments from the Dougherty Judicial Circuit grand jury, a court official said Thursday.

"It isn't a good day for the school system," said District Attorney Greg Edwards. "Two former employees are charged with felonies."

The grand jury indicted Lakisha Lashawn Williams on felony charges of theft by conversion, Edwards said.

Williams was a teacher and dance coach at Monroe High School, Edwards said. While acting on the behalf of the school's danceline club, she stole money from the club, he said.

"She was supposed to buy uniforms and other things for the club," Edwards said. "Instead, she allegedly took at least $7,000 for her own use."

School officials said in August that Williams was fired when the investigation by the school system's police turned up evidence including bank and other records that pointed to theft.

Edwards said another former school employee, Willie Hardrick, was indicted for felony violation of an oath by an officer, theft by deception and forgery.

Hardrick, a Dougherty County School Police officer in November, bought a cell phone at a Family Dollar store for $21.40 while in uniform, said school police Chief Troy Conley.

Then Hardrick put an old phone in the new phone's box and brought it back to the store for a refund, Conley said. When the switch was discovered, Hardrick was arrested by Albany Police Department officers on Nov. 2, he said.

"He is no longer with the Dougherty County School Police," Conley said. "I filed an intent to fire on Nov. 5. He resigned just after that."

Tahira Williams, was indicted by the grand jury on charges of burglary, assault and family violence, Edwards said. Williams also worked in the school system, but it was not immediately known if she remained in her "para-professional" job, Edwards added.

Other indictments handed down by the grand jury include felony murder, aggravated assault and other charges against Jason Staples, Edwards said.

According to Edwards, Staples, who authorities say is a Black Gangster Disciple, was involved in the July 2009 "beat-down" gang initiation of Reginald Richardson that resulted in Richardson's death.