ATLANTA (AP/WAOK) – Former Georgia Gov. Sony Perdue has taken the stand in the first trial resulting from the Atlanta public schools cheating scandal.

Officials say Perdue confirmed to jurors he ordered state authorities to take over the investigation of school employees suspected of changing students’ answers on standardized tests.

The former governor said Atlanta school leaders were stonewalling and that he thought they were hurting schoolchildren. State authorities finished their sweeping inquiry after Perdue left office, indicting almost three dozen former teachers and administrators, including Superintendent Beverly Hall.

Tamara Cotman is charged in Fulton County Superior Court with trying to influence a witness. Prosecutors allege that the former administrator instructed principals to tell investigators to go to hell.

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