Crawford Lewis continues searching for a judge to grant bond

An attorney for former DeKalb School Superintendent Crawford Lewis tried unsuccessfully to find a judge to grant him bond so he can be released from jail until the judge who presided over his case returns to town and holds a hearing next week.

Lewis is in jail after a judge rejected a plea bargain he’d made with prosecutors. Lewis pleaded guilty to misdemeanor obstruction. Prosecutors agreed not to pursue racketeering and theft charges against him if he testified against former schools chief operating office Pat Reid and her ex-husband, architect Tony Pope, who were convicted last month of manipulating construction contracts to benefit themselves. Lewis expected to be sentenced to 12 months in probation but Judge Cynthia Becker ordered him to jail instead.

Lewis’ attorney tried to withdraw the plea on Monday moments after Lewis was sentenced but Becker would not let him. A hearing is scheduled Tuesday to hear attorney Michael Brown’s motion to withdraw Lewis’ plea.

Brown tried Thursday to find another DeKalb County judge to consider bond since Becker is out of town and unavailable, according to a court filing that quoted email exchanges with Becker.

“Dr. Lewis had been wrongly incarcerated by a judge that now refused to consider bond for another five days,” Brown wrote. “Unless the court grants him bond, he will have to remain wrongfully imprisoned for more than a week because the court does not have time to consider an uncontested bond that is required by law. This is an injustice that should not be tolerated.”

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