AT asked the university to help coordinate the interview with Ms. Colotl, because the address and phone she had given to KSU police and Cobb sheriff's deputies at the time of her citation and arrest were found - surprise! - to be false.
But after multiple phone and e-mail messages throughout the day with Papp's staff, we received a copy of the same statement they issued on Friday and this note from Frances Harrison, a university spokeswoman: "Please accept this document as our last and final communications regarding the issue."
But AT has heard that the Board of Regents, which meets today and tomorrow in Atlanta, may well have something to say about Papp's efforts to assist Colotl, spring her from an Alabama immigration jail and let her pay in-state tuition. Donald Leeburn, the senior member of the 18-person Regents board, reportedly told an Atlanta pundit on Monday that Papp was "way out of line" and should be reprimanded.
Meanwhile, Sheriff Neal Warren, when asked if Colotl could face new charges for lying about her address and phone number when she was booked into Cobb County Jail on March 30, said in a statement: "I am investigating that possibility, and if she gave false information to one of my deputies, I will take appropriate action."
ALTHOUGH VOTERS can expect all three school board seats up for grabs this summer and fall to be hotly contested on a host of issues, at least one candidate in each of the three races is running on the same platform - they all want controversial Superintendent Fred Sanderson gone after his contract expires June 30, 2011.
Republicans Scott Sweeney and Kathleen Angelucci and Democrat Patrick Stafford all want major changes, but their number one goal is to get rid of Sanderson, who has held the top job on Glover Street since shortly after Joe Redden resigned after the laptop fiasco in mid-2005.
If all three anti-Sanderson contenders are elected, it is believed that board members Alison Bartlett and David Morgan would see to it that Sanderson is retired.
Remember, Sanderson retired once before from the central office in 2002 but was rehired in December 2005 when Redden left. He already gets one retirement check, plus his $250,000-a-year plus salary and is thus as a "double dipper."
Sanderson has been tight-lipped about his future plans and can certainly snare a new contract from the board if incumbent Holli Cash of Smyrna can hang onto her seat and if only one of the anti-Sanderson candidates wins. With Cash and holdovers Lynnda Crowder-Eagle and David Banks, plus one pro Sanderson new member, Sanderson could stay on or perhaps name his successor.
School board watchers think Sanderson has been grooming Dr. Steve Constantino as his likely successor for the past two years.
Constantino and his wife, Peggie, are linked to Cobb through assistant superintendent Rob Benson, who worked with Dr. Constantino in Virginia's Stonewall Jackson High in the 1990s. Time Magazine named Stonewall "High School of the Year in 2001" when Dr. Constantino was principal there.
In 2004, Mrs. Constantino was hired as assistant principal at McEachern High, where Benson was serving as principal. At the time it was reported that the Constantinos wanted to be near the Atlanta airport so her husband could pursue his consulting business, a Virginia firm called Family Friendly Schools
In summer of 2008, Sanderson hired Dr. Constantino for a new position at the central office, a move that rankled some teachers who claimed it created a conflict of interest since he was for all practical purposes his wife's boss. Since then Mrs. Constantino was moved to the central office also, where she was named director of the special education department.
Last year Constantino told two MDJ reporters he had sold his consulting business even though a website promoting Family Friendly Schools continues to list him as the founder. Some school board watchers think Sanderson hired Constantino for a top position in his executive cabinet after his consulting business faltered.
One thing all school board watchers can agree on: This year's three school board races will have far reaching consequences for the years to come.
TEN OF COBB'S TOP SCHOOL OFFICIALS have accumulated more than a combined $400,000 in unused vacation time that they are entitled to receive lump sum payment for in cash when they eventually depart the system, according to results of an Open Records Request from the Marietta Daily Journal. The school board voted 5-1 last week to keep the perk in place, shooting down a proposal from board member Alison Bartlett to end the payments (although those who have earned the money would still receive it).
So which of Cobb's school brass stands to benefit the most when they leave or retire? They are: Judith Jones, chief accountability and research officer ($52,524), Gordon Pritz, associate superintendent who has just been hired to head the Douglas County system ($45,864), Mike Addison, chief financial officer ($44,959), Doris Billups, principal, Riverside Elementary ($43,506), Alice Stouder, area assistant superintendent ($42,865), Dale Gaddis, area assistant superintendent ($41,683), Superintendent Fred Sanderson ($41,516), Hilda Wilkins, principal, Hightower Trail Middle School ($41,397), Marianne Weidner, director of H.A.V.E.N. Academy ($40,217) and Jackie Whitt, principal of the Performance Learning Center ($40,488).
After AT sent the OR request, it received a reply from district PR czar Jay Dillon on Friday that, "Our Finance Department is working on producing this request. We expect it to be ready Monday afternoon."
The vacation payment schedule arrived as promised - but to the surprise of AT, the 33-page document was stamped "Generated June 11, 2009" and "Run Tuesday, June 30, 2009."
Let's hope Dillon's numbers are more accurate than his e-mails!
PEOPLE: Terri Bunten, Lamar Cheatham, Elva Dornbusch, Chuck Dunehew, Travis Ellis, Darrin Figg, Joe Gaskin, Vickie Haney, James Hudgins, Judson Langley, Michelle Miller, Dan Papp, Sandy Sanders, Mary Sheil, Glynda Thor and Pam Younker recently returned from an Honorary Commander Alumni Trip to Nellis Air Force Base and the Atomic War Museum in Las Vegas, Nev., where they heard briefings from the Thunderbirds and the Threat Training Facility. ... Congressman Phil Gingrey's 10th grandchild was born May 3 at WellStar Kennestone Hospital. Barbara Foley "Ley" Collins was born to Phyllis and Jerry Collins. Gingrey was in the delivery room at the hospital, which is where he delivered over 5,000 babies himself.
THIS AND THAT: The children on Freyer and Seminole Drive will have a charity lemonade stand benefiting cystic fibrosis research on Thursday and Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. at 180 Freyer Drive. It will be the fourth year that the children have come together to raise money for the cause in honor of their friend, Gavin Bartlett. For more information, contact Melinda Heidt at (770) 355-6397. ...
POLITICAL PLATTER: Sixth District Republican Congressman Tom Price Monday switched his endorsement in the upcoming gubernatorial race to former Secretary of State Karen Handel for Governor of Georgia. He earlier had endorsed former U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal (R-Gainesville). Deal's business dealings have been under scrutiny by congressional investigators.
Price did not comment directly on why he was changing his endorsement, but noted that, "Karen Handel has demonstrated the strength, courage and leadership in business and public office that we desperately need as the next Governor. Karen is not only the best candidate to win the nomination and take on Roy Barnes and the Democrats in November, but she will also be a wonderful governor for our state,"
THE SUPREME COURT OF GEORGIA has appointed Cobb Superior Court Senior Judge G. Conley Ingram to serve as a trustee of the Georgia Bar Foundation. Judge Ingram succeeds former Chief Justice Harold Clarke on the Board of Trustees. Ingram is a former justice of the Supreme Court and will serve for a term of two years effective April 15.
THE TOMMY NOBIS CENTER will host the 12th Annual "Galaxy of Stars & Tommy Awards Luncheon," a fundraiser for the Metro Atlanta nonprofit that provides job training and employment for youth and adults with disabilities and other barriers to employment, today from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Renaissance Waverly Hotel at Cobb Galleria.
The event honors the outstanding workplace accomplishments of individuals with disabilities and recognizes community partners who advocate on their behalf. Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle will be on hand to present the Governor's Award to the winner among the 31 nominees.