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Educators In Cheating Case Must Have Own Lawyers

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File photo of a judge's gavel. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

File photo of a judge’s gavel. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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ATLANTA (AP) — A judge on Thursday said he would not allow any lawyer to represent more than one defendant in the case involving a cheating scandal in Atlanta Public Schools.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter said during a hearing Thursday he wants to avoid potential conflicts of interest.

Some lawyers who represent multiple clients argued their clients didn’t even know each other. But Baxter pointed out that all the defendants face charges of conspiracy to participate in a cheating scheme.

Four defendants were arraigned Thursday. Eight had their arraignments postponed until May 16. The remaining 23 are set to be arraigned Friday.

A grand jury in March indicted 35 educators, including the former superintendent, accusing them of involvement in a broad conspiracy to cheat, conceal cheating or retaliate against whistleblowers.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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