Atlanta charter school leader arrested in connection with thefts

The founder of a group of Atlanta-area charter schools accused of taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from the schools has been arrested.

Christopher Clemons was arrested today in the Denver area by the FBI Fugitive Task Force. Atlanta Police officers will travel to Colorado to extradite Clemons, according to the FBI.

At Latin Academy, a charter school overseen by the Atlanta Public Schools, more than $600,000 was taken from school bank and credit card accounts through ATM withdrawals and to pay for dinners, non-work-related travel, bonuses to employees and “personal entertainment at local night clubs,” according to an initial police report.

And at Fulton County’s Latin Grammar School and Latin College Preparatory School, more than $350,000 was withdrawn in cash or transferred to a nonprofit created by Clemons. And cash was withdrawn from ATMs, including one with the same address as a strip club, according to bank statements obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution under Georgia’s Open Records Act.

Clemons also borrowed hundreds of thousands of dollars in the schools’ names without the school boards’ authorization, according to court records.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.