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A Twitter summary of APS sentencing today. Wild moments. Stiff sentences.


Folks, I tweeted the APS sentencing proceedings and am about to start writing a summation.

In the meantime, here are the morning events in digest form. These tweets include some of the strongest quotes from the judge, who fired off strong reprimands and sentences.

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  5m 5 minutes ago

Expect APS cheating story to continue as eight defendants likely to appeal. Only 2 took DA deal.

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  7m 7 minutes ago

Judge on APS community service: Wants them working with prisoners or children. 'These are capable people who can teach.'

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  8m 8 minutes ago

Judge advises defendants to right of appeal within 30 days. Needs to know lawyers staying on with clients.

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  10m 10 minutes ago

Pam Cleveland takes deal: Gets year home confinement, 1000 hours of community service & fine. First offender status.

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  12m 12 minutes ago

Pam Cleveland takes deal: Reads statement of apology for involvement in 2009 CRCT test administration. I am guilty of crimes charged

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  14m 14 minutes ago

Baxter sentences Copeland: 5 years to serve 1; 1,000 hours community service, $1,000 fine. First offender.

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  15m 15 minutes ago

Attorney for Theresia Copeland: Spending money to be here. Not going to represent his client in appeal. She's indigent.

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  18m 18 minutes ago

Judge: Many people out there involved in cheating. But likely not enough evidence on them. "Sickest' thing to ever happen to city

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  19m 19 minutes ago

Judge now says give first offender to all but 3 administrators. Pitts attorney points out that his boss, Kathy Augustine, not indicted.

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  21m 21 minutes ago

Baxter on Buckner-Webb: Five years to serve 1. 1,000 hours community service, $1,000 fine, First offender treatment.

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  24m 24 minutes ago

Judge Baxter: I would not take an Alford Plea for Beverly Hall even though people wanted me to and she was sick.

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  26m 26 minutes ago

Anybody watching APS sentencing have any sense of victory? Whole thing is sad for everyone.

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  28m 28 minutes ago

Attorneys telling judge: DA's office wanted to give us words we have to say to you. Put words in our mouths.

aureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  29m 29 minutes ago

Judge to Buckner's attorney: I want the children who were shortchanged and cheated to have an apology. I don't want an apology

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  31m 31 minutes ago

Diane Buckner-Webb's attorney: No record. Mother, grandmother. I do not think prison is appropriate sentence.  Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  35m 35 minutes ago

Judge Baxter argues with Tabeeka Jordan's attorney on whether he promised first offender status in court Monday.

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  36m 36 minutes ago

Judge Baxter tells Jordan's attorney: None of the educators willing to take responsibility.

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  37m 37 minutes ago

Judge sentences Tabeeka Jordan: Five years to serve 2, 1,500 community service & $5,000 fine.  Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  40m 40 minutes ago

APS defendants must believe they have strong appeals ground to pass on DA deal & risk these jail sentences.

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  41m 41 minutes ago

Baxter sentences Angela Williamson: Five years to serve 2. 1,500 hours of community service & $5,000 fine.

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  43m 43 minutes ago

Angela Williamson's attorney asks for first offender status. 'Temper justice  with mercy.'

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  44m 44 minutes ago

Judge Baxter on mercy request for Williamson: Evidence overwhelming that she cheated.  Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  45m 45 minutes ago

Williamson wants to be able to raise her kids. Judge asks, 'Why didn't she think about that 18 months ago?"

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  47m 47 minutes ago

Teacher Angela Williamson: Attorney notes trial witnesses said she was top teacher & her students are succeeding.

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  49m 49 minutes ago

Judge: Believe Dana Evans knew what was going on in 4th grade. 5 years to serve 1; 1,000 hours community service & first offender.

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  52m 52 minutes ago

Attorney: Dr. Evans came to school where cheating had been occurring. Only there for short time yet being held responsible

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  53m 53 minutes ago

Attorney Rubin speaking on behalf of Dana Evans: Kids at Dobbs did get tutoring, help. CRCT scores didn't matter. Help provided.

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  56m 56 minutes ago

Judge Baxter not swayed on Pitts: Sentences him 20 years to serve 7. $25,000 fine. 2,000 hours community service.

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  60m 60 minutes ago

Incredulous Baxter to PItts: You had no idea there was blatant cheating at that school?

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  1h 1 hour ago

Judge to Pitts: How could you believe Parks Middle made such leaps? Pitts: I turned around a failing high school. Can be done.

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  1h 1 hour ago

Michael Pitts to judge: Came to APS when Carver graduating only 23 students. Improvements were made.

0 Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  1h 1 hour ago

Judge's sarcastic response to lawyer comment that APS is better school system now. 'Everything is great, thank god, Dr. Hall came'

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  1h 1 hour ago

Judge: Everybody starts crying about these educators. There were thousands of children harmed in this thing, This is not a victimless crime

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  1h 1 hour ago

Attorney for Pitts; His client supervised many other schools & teachers. Convicted on what he should have known, not what he did.

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  1h 1 hour ago

Baxter tells Pitts' attorney: Your client was at epicenter of cheating at Parks Middle. He was in charge of that school.

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  1h 1 hour ago

Attorney for Michael Pitts: 20 years to serve 7 is unfair & unjust sentence.

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  1h 1 hour ago

People who wanted APS cheating trial defendants to serve serious time are getting wish. Angry judge is sending folks to jail for 7 years.

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  1h 1 hour ago

Defendants paying high price for refusing DA's offer: Judge sentences 2 so far to serve 7 years in jail & pay $25,000 fine

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  1h 1 hour ago

Judge sentences Tamara Cotman to 20 years to serve 7; 2,000 hours of community service & $25,000 fine.

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  1h 1 hour ago

Baxter said Cotman fired educator who questioned high scores by students who couldn't read.

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  1h 1 hour ago

Cotman's attorney: No one saw Cotman cheating or directing cheating.

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  1h 1 hour ago

Baxter to Cotman's attorney speaking for his client: 'I know more of Cotman than I ever want to know.'

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  1h 1 hour ago

Tenor of APS sentencing going bad fast. Baxter's angry defendants not taking deals & still challenging verdict.

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  1h 1 hour ago

Furious Baxter lecturing Cotman's attorney. Says Cotman at 'top of the food chain'. She ran off good educators.

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  1h 1 hour ago

Wow. An angry Baxter sentences Sharon Davis Williams to 20 years to serve 7 years and $25,000 fine.

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  2h 2 hours ago

Judge and attorneys arguing. Baxter warns 1 lawyer to sit down or risk jail.

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  2h 2 hours ago

Attorney for Sharon Williams: Only convicted of 1 charge. No record. Asking for 5 years probation & first offender. Allow appeal.

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  2h 2 hours ago

Miffed judge tells attorney Davis trying to make legal argument on charges to stop talking. 'I've listened to you for 3 years.'

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  2h 2 hours ago

APS defendants apparently maintaining they unjustly convicted. Only 1 took deal sparing him jail & giving him first offender status

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  2h 2 hours ago

Most APS defendants unwilling to take deal & admit guilt. Long road to appeals court will begin. Jail time runs 1 to 3 years

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  2h 2 hours ago

For APS defendants not taking deals: Jail time: 3 years for Pitt, Cotman; 2 years for most others including Evans & Jordan.

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  2h 2 hours ago

Judge Baxter to Bullock: 'Thank you for accepting responsibility and relieving me of a harsh sentence for you. Good luck.'

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  2h 2 hours ago

Bullock: 5 year probation, 6 month weekend jail, $5,000 fine,1500 hours of community service teaching inmates. First offender status

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  2h 2 hours ago

Bullock apologizes for my involvement in what happened in CRCT 'administration.' I accept responsibility. He reads the charges.

Maureen Downey @AJCGetSchooled  ·  2h 2 hours ago

Bullock's attorney starts giving reasons why client taking deal. Judge interrupts: He has to fess up. If not, don't waste time.

 


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About the Author

Maureen Downey has written editorials and opinion pieces about local, state and federal education policy since the 1990s.