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Former APS Principal Enters Plea in CRCT Cheating Scandal

Lucious Brown was the third former principal in the Atlanta Public School to head to court.

Former APS Principal Enters Plea in CRCT Cheating Scandal

A third former Atlanta Public Schools principal admitted guilt on Friday, Jan. 17 in the test cheating scandal.

Former Kennedy Middle School principal Lucious Brown pleaded guilty to a single felony charge of interference with government property for altering CRCT answer sheets, according to the Fulton County District Attorney's Office. He appeared before Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter during plea proceedings.

Under the terms of his plea agreement, Brown was sentenced to two years on probation, ordered to perform 1m000 hours of community service and pay $1,000 in restitution for the bonus money he received in 2008. Brown must also provide truthful testimony at trial.

Brown originally denied claims against him and lied to investigators about his knowledge of or particpation in the cheating scandal. Now he has admitted to personally changing students' answers from wrong to right on both the 2008 and 2009 CRCT answer sheets, and directoed other employees to do the same. Brown also admitted falsifying CRCT certification forms.

He characterizes his cheating as a “self-centered” act caused by his desire to remain employed.  Brown’s former employees, teacher Tameka Goodson and school secretary Carol Dennis entered guilty pleas last month for their involvement in the case.  The three say they pledged to one another that they would take the cheating secret to their graves.

Brown is the third of six indicted former principals (one of whom is now deceased) to enter a guilty plea in connection with the cheating scandal.  To date, 18 defendants have entered guilty pleas bringing the number of remaining defendants to 16. Judge Baxter has extended the deadline for negotiated pleas to Jan. 24. Trial is scheduled to begin in May 2014.

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