Indicted APS teachers' attorneys upset with district attorney - New York News

Indicted APS teachers' attorneys upset with district attorney

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ATLANTA -

Some attorneys for educators accused in the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal say the district attorney is trying to shut them up.

Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard filed a motion to stop attorneys from talking about the case publicly.

Defense attorneys complain Howard started the war of words when he staged an elaborate news conference where prosecutors detailed the cheating scandal case against former Superintendent Beverly Hall and 34 educators.

"One view, one position has been touted in the press over and over and over again. The name of this case is the 'cheating scandal' and everybody assumes the people named are involved in cheating, and that's a false assumption," said defense attorney Bruce Harvey.

 "There was a press conference that he called and now he's trying to silence the freedom of speech that these individuals have to clear their name," said Gerald Griggs, another defense attorney.

The district attorney accused Hall of operating a criminal enterprise, centered around cheating on standardized tests.

Howard agreed to lower the bonds of the indicted educators if they agreed not to talk publicly about their cases. But now, the district attorney has taken things a step further. In recent days, the Howard filed an emergency motion to stop defense attorneys from discussing the racketeering case with reporters, citing ethical rules.

"I think the ethical rules are quite clear. An attorney who does not contact the media or hold a press conference has the right to respond," said Howard.

A Fulton County judge will have the last word. He will decide who will be able to talk publicly about this high profile case in a hearing this Friday.

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