Former Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Beverly Hall is battling breast cancer, her lawyer said Thursday.
“Dr. Hall has been diagnosed with breast cancer, a serious medical condition for which she is receiving treatment,” Atlanta attorney Richard Deane said in a statement.
“As a matter of her personal privacy, Dr. Hall does not choose to say more,” the statement said.
Hall, 67, is among 34 former APS officials and educators named by a Fulton County grand jury in a sweeping indictment accusing the defendants of conspiring to inflate scores on standardized tests. Hall is charged with racketeering, making false statements, false swearing and theft.
Hall’s attorneys have said they will contest the charges, insisting she is innocent. In recent weeks, Hall’s legal team informed Fulton prosecutors of Hall’s illness.
“Please be assured that whatever her health concerns, Dr. Hall will continue to fight the charges brought against her, as she is innocent of these charges,” Deane said.
An Atlanta criminal defense attorney who isn’t involved in the cheating case, Bill Morrison, said Hall’s illness may influence how strongly prosecutors pursue the charges.
A defendant having a serious illness “can certainly affect whether the prosecution will go forward,” Morrison said.
Hall came to Atlanta in 1999, and was named national superintendent of the year in 2009.
She left APS in June 2011, just before a state investigation concluded that 185 of the school district’s teachers and administrators had participated in cheating.