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Edwards recuses himself from Baker school lunch fraud case

But Dougherty DA says his office will handle any potential CRCT cheating prosecutions

Greg Edwards

Greg Edwards

ALBANY, Ga. -- Dougherty Country District Attorney Greg Edwards has recused himself from the school lunch fraud case of Morningside Principal Gloria Baker and her husband, John.

photo

Joe Mullholland

Edwards will hand the prosecution off to South Georgia District Attorney Joe Mullholland who was already handling the case against Doughtery County School Board member Velvet Riggins.

"I have asked Mr. Mullholland to take the Baker's cases in the interest of consistency and uniformity as the cases are reviewed." Edwards said. "He will also handle the case of the school board member."

While stepping aside from prosecuting the school lunch fraud cases, Edwards said Tuesday his office would handle any possible prosecutions that arise from the DCSS CRCT cheating scandal.

In November the Bakers were charged with three misdemeanor counts of falsifying school lunch applications to obtain free lunches for the child. A month later Riggins was also charged with two misdemeanor counts of falsifying lunch applications for her child.

Riggins was also charged with an additional felony count of Offense by a Public Official.

Last month, the School Board hired Macon attorney and Mercer Law School Professor James Fleissner to look into the BOE's options in pursuing possible fraud within the system's school lunch program.

Fleissner said Tuesday he is still in the midst of compiling data and making comparisons to similar caes in Charlotte, N.C. and Chicago.

"I plan on being at the next School Board meeting on Feb. 13 where I will present the board with options on how to best look into the matter," Fleissner said.

Fleissner said that he was not making recommendations to the board, but would only be providing legal options in advance of any possible investigation.

"The Board will have to decide where to go from there," he said.

Comments

ObjectiveEyes 2 years, 2 months ago

This (and other recussals) need to be remembered the next election!

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Local 2 years, 2 months ago

Does the School Board have the "authority" to hire an outside attorney to do that? When the school system is facing large budget cuts where does this money come from? Are they paying it personally? Just asking.

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boyoboy 2 years, 2 months ago

They are all in bed together. Since this has been quiet for awhile, I bet there has been alot of srambling and covering up going on.

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Jacob 2 years, 2 months ago

Where can I get a job that allows me to just say no whenever I don't want to get all icky with the parts that I find troubling? Whatever the real prosecutor gets paid to handle these cases ought to be taken from the DA's paycheck.

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ObjectiveEyes 2 years, 2 months ago

I agree, Jacob. Mr. Edwards should do the job that he has sworn himself to and is being paid to do.

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coachjohnson42 2 years, 2 months ago

he basically said.....I dont wanna have NUTTIN TO DO WIT IT!!!

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SweetLou 2 years, 2 months ago

Look, give the guy a break. He probably knows both of these people personally and it is right and proper that he recuse himself. Besides, in this town, whatever the outcome, people would have shouted from the court house steps that the 'fix' was in. Theres no way he could have prosecuted either of these cases. He did the right thing..... which is, frankly, a refreshing change.

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chinaberry25 2 years, 2 months ago

He is bowing out because he could be related or knows them well. School will not have to pay a DA. One of his associates will handle it. It he tries the case it could be overturned on appeal. Smart move.

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waltspecht 2 years, 2 months ago

He is doing his job honestly by recusing himself. He just hasn't gone far enough, because he can still exert influence over his employees. These folks are friends and aquaintences of his, and his whole department shouldn't be involved. Another DA from another district should be handling it to avoid any sign of corruptness and cronieism. The way it currently is, he can influence how the cases are handled.

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coachjohnson42 2 years, 2 months ago

He also knows this is a politically charged situation......

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FlunkyMonkey 2 years, 2 months ago

While I agree with his decision to recuse himself from the school lunch mess, I question why he is not recusing himself from the CRCT cheating mess. I am sure the district attorney's office has employees with children in the DoCo School System. Any decision (right or wrong, good or bad) handed down will impact them. Therefore, in the interest of justice, Greg Edwards should hand this over to another D.A. Or, has he already decided what the final outcome will be and it will be easier to get what he wants if it is kept in house?

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straightface 2 years, 2 months ago

Some of you people need to really pray about the things you are saying. Everyone says just fire the cheaters and want Edwards to follow through morally, well you ae innocent until proven guilty. If someone accused one of you of something you know you did not do or say, how would you want the situation handled would you just want to go straight to jail. I dont think so! would you want to be fired. I dont think so. They DA and the school board are doing the right things possibly they have to follow rules and guidelines just like everyone else. They still dont have the evidence from the GBI only hearsay.. Try having some patience and see what comes out.. I am sure you would want someone to show you evidence to prove you did something and not just go off what someone else said.. What if they were to fire those people that were so called cheaters and evidence came back that what they said was latered or they were words were changed or twisted and then they are found not guilty. Then the city would be out of thousands because there would be lawsuits i am sure. Then what! Give them a break! everyone knows lawyers are known to twist words and make you say what they want to hear. And for the record I am not saying everyone is innocent but they are until proven different and not by hearsay but by evidence(like tapes where they admitted to it).. and i know alot of you are thinking it is raciest..but what you feel to realize all races are in the number of cheaters.. so its not just black folks sitting in those rooms doing nothing as you all say it.. No the facts before you post!

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KaosinAlbany 2 years, 2 months ago

I am glad Mullholland is taking on this case also. Edwards did the right thing.

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boyoboy 2 years, 2 months ago

Looks as if straightface was in a cheating teachers classroom.

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waltspecht 2 years, 2 months ago

I hate to hazard a guess that Straightface might be one of those Teachers

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LuLu 2 years, 2 months ago

Like my mama used to say -- if you lay down with dogs, you get up with fleas. It looks like Mr. Edwards should be a little more selective with who he calls his friends. Obviously he is well-educated and worked very hard to get where he is. I wouldn't want my choice of friends to threaten my career and livelihood.

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straightface 2 years, 2 months ago

Cant wait to see what boyoboy post when the rulings come back that they are all innocent and can return to the classroom.. Oh yeah I know what he is going to say..the DA did not handle the situation correctly..thoses were his friends, blah blah blah!

And NO, waltspecht I AM NOT one of those Educators that are awaiting to return back to the classroom so that there kids can get the proper training they need for the upcoming CRCT which the substitutes are SUPPOSE to be getting them prepared for.. (yeah right)

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IQ_ABOVE_IDIOT 2 years, 2 months ago

Let's see. 1. Recuse yourself. 2. Bring in a white DA to prosecute black defendants. 3. Select a black jury. 4. Wait for expected verdict. 5. Let black judge impose the sentence. Oh, I forgot. What sentence?

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