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APS CHEATING SCANDAL

APS trial
KENT D. JOHNSON

RICO: The heavy artillery was on the mark

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When the state brought racketeering charges against Atlanta Public School employees for cheating on tests and then covering it up, criminal defense attorneys said it was overkill.

Teachers, principals … racketeers?

On Wednesday, however, jurors unanimously agreed that 11 of the 12 former educators on trial were guilty of engaging in a racketeering conspiracy.

The federal racketeering law — called RICO, for Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations — was enacted in 1970 to fight corruption and organized crime.

Bookman: Scandal's not done  |  Wingfield: Some adults cared  |  Downey: Right ending?

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BILL TORPY AT LARGE

torpy

Has Mary Norwood got a deal for you...

Sitting shotgun with Mary Norwood at the wheel is not for the faint of heart. In fact, her herky-jerky maneuvers made me worry that I would leave remnants of my breakfast on her dashboard. The pint-sized Atlanta city councilwoman, who came within 715 votes of becoming Atlanta’s mayor in 2009, has the energy of a hummingbird, which is reflected in her driving style. Here's why I was taking Mary's Magical Mystery Tour.

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UNDER THE GOLD DOME

legislative

Georgia transportation plan stirs fans and critics

Georgia lawmakers were lauded on some sides and lambasted on others Wednesday after passing a massive transportation funding bill that would raise close to $1 billion a year.

House Bill 170 would lift the gas tax for the average driver by about 6 cents a gallon. It would impose new fees on hotel stays, electric vehicles and heavy trucks. And it would eliminate lucrative tax breaks for Delta Air Lines and electric vehicle owners.

» Ga.'s new transit bill: 5 takeaways

» More Georgia Legislature news

FULTON COUNTY AUDIT

Fulton audit

Fulton IT may have skirted purchasing rules

Fulton County’s Information Technology Department may have skirted purchasing rules by awarding hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of contracts to a favored vendor, a new audit shows.

The department paid Vixio Technology of Atlanta $288,450 in a series of contracts worth just under the $50,000 threshold that would have required the work to be opened up for competition, according to the audit report. It says the IT Department also may have paid the company another $148,000 improperly and paid the company more than $10,000.

MARK BRADLEY COLUMN

UGA basketball
Bob Leverone

The plan versus Kentucky? Do as UGA's Fox did

Mark Fox watched what Notre Dame was doing with great interest, seeing as how the Fighting Irish did to Kentucky in the Midwest Regional final as Fox’s Georgia Bulldogs had done. In both cases, a counter-intuitive game plan almost worked. In both cases, it didn’t quite.

On March 3 in Athens, smallish Georgia chose not to shoot over the massive Wildcats — their starting front line is 7-foot, 7-foot and 6-10 — but to bait them into moving. After his team lost to Kentucky 78-39 last week, West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said: “I think Georgia kind of did the best job, kind of got them spread.”


UNDER THE GOLD DOME

Atlanta Beltline
BEN GRAY / AJC

Beltline bill caught up in AT&T vs Atlanta fight

The legal fight between AT&T and the city of Atlanta over millions of dollars in utility-relocation costs has taken a new turn, manifesting in a bill under consideration by lawmakers that affects the Atlanta Beltline. Senate Bill 4 effectively paves the way for the Beltline to pursue a public private partnership. | Higher 911 charges for Atlantans?


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