Cobb schools officials: Top investigator still with district

Cobb County Schools officials now say a top investigator is still employed with the district despite heavy criticism.

Earlier Thursday, spokesman Doug Goodwin had said Mary Finlayson, the district’s professional standards and ethics director, no longer worked with the district.

Finlayson came under scrutiny from school board members and members of the public after two of the cases that her office dealt with in the past year ultimately were dropped by authorities.

Trudie Donovan, then principal at Kell High School, was charged with a misdemeanor after she was accused by Finlayson’s office of breaking the mandated reporting law, which requires educators to report accusations of child abuse to the police or the Division of Family and Children Services within 24 hours.

Donovan was accused of failing to report the alleged abuse of a student by a teacher. The incident was reported to DFCS, but not in a timely manner, officials said.

A judge later dismissed those charges. Donovan has retired from the school district.

More recently, Finlayson’s office attempted to suspend Jeff Crawford, principal at Awtrey Middle School, for insubordination and failing to properly report a student’s rape accusation.

Administrators later dropped the case against him.

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