Appeals court won’t review attorney conflict issue in APS cheating case

The Georgia Court of Appeals will not consider a public defender's request to withdraw from the Atlanta Public Schools test-cheating appeal.

Attorney Stephen Scarborough was hired by the public defender's office to represent six former educators as they seek a new trial in Fulton County Superior Court after being convicted of racketeering in 2015.

After working on the appeal for two and a half years, Scarborough recently asked to withdraw from the case, saying it was a conflict of interest for the same attorney to represent all six defendants. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter denied his request last month, and Scarborough asked the appeals court to review that decision.

On Wednesday, the appeals court issued an order declining to consider the attorney’s conflict-of-interest issue.

Prosecutors had argued against Scarborough's withdrawal and said at an August hearing that the request was an attempt to delay the case.

The defense has a 10-day window to ask the appeals court to reconsider or ask the Supreme Court of Georgia to review the issue.