DeKalb D.A. sought additional documents in school construction investigation

The DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office wanted information about an internal DeKalb school district investigation involving official Patricia “Pat” Pope when it filed a public records request with the school district last month, documents show.

In the Open Records Act request, obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, District Attorney’s Office investigator W.C. Nix wrote that his office believed that the school district had additional documents that had not been seized when authorities executed a series of search warrants in October.

Pat Pope formerly worked as the district's chief operating officer, overseeing school construction projects. Nix said in the letter that the documents he sought involved allegations that Pope circumvented state bidding laws in order to steer contract awards to her now-estranged husband, architect Vincent "Tony" Pope, the couple's friend, Lithonia builder David Moody, and Turner Construction Company.

The school district rejected the request, citing attorney-client privilege.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on Dec. 13 that the District Attorney’s Office was investigating six school construction projects and any others involving Tony Pope, Moody or architect Vernell Barnes. Tony Pope worked on three of the six identified projects, while Barnes and Moody worked on two apiece. Turner Construction worked on one of them.