AJC Watchdog: First Alert

Keeping watch on those who hold the public trust and money

No 'smoking gun' but plenty of smoke


State Rep. Mike Glanton, D-Jonesboro, has penned a formal apology of sorts to the House Ethics Committee for a "misunderstanding" or "misperception" caused by his emails this spring to Atlanta Schools Superintendent Meria Carstarphen. In the emails, Glanton appears to be leveraging his ability to influence state education funding and education policy to arrange a meeting with the relatively new superintendent.

A four-person panel of House leaders, made up of the Republican and Democratic leaders and whips, determined the emails did not require Glanton to be disciplined. You can read more about it in our story here.

Glanton had been trying to discuss the school system's decision to cancel a $1.1 million contract with Jonesboro-based teacher recruiting firm Global Teachers Research and Resources, where Glanton is chief operating officer. Committee Chairman Joe Wilkinson, R-Sandy Springs, said there was no "smoking gun," in part because Glanton did not get the meeting and the contract was canceled.

While Glanton escapes further discipline in the House, Global continues to have troubles. Along with Atlanta, DeKalb County canceled its longstanding contract with the company following an investigation by the AJC into labor abuses alleged by its foreign employees.

Global recruits teachers internationally -- largely from India -- and matches those teachers with school districts with hard-to-fill positions teaching math, science, special education and foreign language instruction. According to a number of teachers who spoke to the newspaper, Global has not followed federal regulations governing how foreign workers are to be paid.

The company has been fined in the past for similar labor violations and the Department of Labor has been looking into the company since late last year. Labor officials have not commented on the investigation.

In addition, the IRS has filed liens against the company for $2 million in unpaid taxes.

Paddy Sharma, the company founder, said she is in the process of selling the company, but the buyer has not been named.


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Joyner’s column, AJC Watchdog, investigates topics in your community and Georgia.