State high court declines to hear Beverly Hall’s appeal

The Georgia Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear a pretrial appeal filed by former Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Beverly Hall in the Fulton County racketeering case.

The court, by a 6-1 vote, declined to hear two challenges raised by Hall. One issue was whether APS defendants, when initially interviewed by investigators, gave coerced statements because they had been told they risked losing their jobs if they did not cooperate. The other question was whether Gov. Sonny Perdue had the authority to appoint the special investigators who uncovered test cheating at APS schools.

Justice Robert Benham was the sole justice who dissented to the court’s decision not to hear Hall’s appeal. The former superintendent was appealing rulings issued in June by Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter, who is presiding over the 35-defendant case.

Still pending before the high court is another pretrial appeal filed by lawyers representing former Kennedy Middle School principal Lucious Brown and former Parks Middle School principal Christopher Waller. They are also asking the state high court to consider whether the APS defendants gave coerced statements.

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