The DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office said it mistakenly reported that it had re-opened investigations into DeKalb schools Superintendent Crawford Lewis’ purchase of a school district vehicle and his purchase of gas on his district credit card.
The cases are closed and prosecutors did not file criminal charges against Lewis, said Chief Assistant District Attorney Don Geary.
But Geary did say the office is reviewing information from those cases to determine if any of it is relevant to a current investigation involving the school district.
School district spokesman Dale Davis said Lewis declined to comment on the mistake.
News about the investigations involving Lewis surfaced this week after The Atlanta Journal-Constitution obtained a taped interview between Lewis and a DA’s Office investigator from November 2008.
The DA’s Office had called Lewis in to answer questions about his car purchase and questionable gas purchases on his district credit card. But, midway through the interview, Lewis brought forth numerous allegations about his then-chief operating officer, Patricia “Pat” Pope.
The AJC detailed those allegations in articles that published on Sunday and Wednesday. In the latter article, the newspaper reported that prosecutors said both the investigations into Lewis were open.
DA’s Office spokesman Orzy Theus said in an e-mail Tuesday that a prosecutor was “taking a fresh look at the circumstances surrounding both issues.” He also said that new information had surfaced in the cases.
Later, Theus said that he misconstrued information relayed to him by a prosecutor.
“That was a bad choice of words on my part,” Theus said Thursday evening. “That was me making some assumptions...I apologize for the misunderstanding, but it wasn’t intentional.”
Geary, however, did say that the prosecutor working on the investigation involving Pat Pope, Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney John Melvin, is re-examining information those cases in light of the current investigation.
The DA’s Office is investigating whether Pope broke the law by allegedly steering contracts to her husband’s architecture firm and two other construction companies where she has connections.
“John is looking at all aspects of the allegations, past, present, etcetera, that have emanated from these individuals and this entity [the school district],” Geary said. “We’re looking at everything that we have had in light of the evidence we possess in the school case.”
The DA’s Office won’t say anything more about the school probe.
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