On April 1, 2015, in the Atlanta Fulton County Courthouse, 11 educators were found guilty of theRacketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). This is the first time in the history of this country that educators were criminally charged and later jailed for RICO. RICO is a United States law that provides for extended criminal penalties and a civil cause of action for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization. During the trial in Fulton County they defined this “ongoing criminal organization” as the Atlanta Public School System! This charge is generally for organized criminal groups such as the Mafia or gangs.
Collectively, these educators have over 170 years of experience and their employment records were exemplary prior to this investigation. Each has devoted their professional lives to educating children and do not condone cheating. These educators continue to maintain their innocence and will continue to pursue their vindication. While it is accurate that a small percentage of employees in APS confessed to cheating and were given different deals to avoid charges and subsequent prison time, their unethical acts were the basis for everyone to be tried and convicted under the RICO Act.
This site seeks to request your support of the educators’efforts to appeal the decision of the court in their fight for justice and truth. This group of educators refused to accept any sentencing agreement that required them to forgo their rights to an appeal, a constitutional right afforded to all citizens of this country. The investigation began in 2010 and the lengthy and expensive legal battle has financially devastated each of them and rendered them unemployable. This has caused some to lose their homes, expend their savings and retirement accounts, and rely on the assistance of others to assist with legal fees and basic living expenses.
This fight is also bigger than the remaining educators, it is a fight against a belief that poor children cannot meet or exceed high standards of academics. It is a fight for other educators across this country so they will not be charged with racketeering for maintaining high expectations for themselves and those they serve. It is a fight to ensure the rights of all citizens are not used as negotiation tools aimed at eliminating the right to appeal, a basic right afforded by the United States Constitution.
How Can You Help?
1. Make a donation to help the educators, who continue to maintain their innocence, exercise their constitutional right for an appeal as the sentences imposed were undoubtedly excessive and harsh. Moreover, the educators need financial assistance with legal and some basic living expenses.
2. Educate yourself on RICO and the larger implications for all organizations, corporations, or entities that hire employees who may opt to independently engage in wrongdoing.
3. Share this link and following links with others and help us to spread the word about this very important and crucial matter.
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all
circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" -1Thessalonians 5:16-18.
Please help us get the word out! These educators are at the mercy of public support. Donations can be made publicly or anonymously.
- George Britton
- Eldred Ellis
- Young Kauri
- Dwanna Ogles
- Sam Larkin
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