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Not Guilty Verdict For Former Atlanta Educator

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(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

waok-jeanross125x90 Jean Ross
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ATLANTA (WAOK) — The first trial related to the Atlanta Public School system CRCT cheating case ended with a verdict of not guilty on Friday.

The verdict cleared former administrator Tamara Cotman of wrongdoing.  Cotman was accused of trying to influence a witness. After the verdict, Cotman said “I feel vindicated.” Cotman also thanked those who were supportive of her during the trial.

Cotman’s trial lasted about two weeks in Fulton County Superior Court. She was the first of about three dozen former administrators and teachers to stand trial.

She is among 35 former administrators and teachers, including Cotman’s former boss, Superintendent Beverly Hall, accused after allegations that students’ answers were changed on standardized tests. The others have yet to be tried.

Cotman was tried on the single count of influencing a witness. She will face cheating charges in a trial scheduled for next spring. Cotman could have been sentenced to five years in prison if she were found guilty

Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said he was disappointed with the verdict. He praised his prosecution team on their outstanding presentation.

“We are disappointed with the verdict,” he said. “This is just one part of what we always thought would be a very long battle and what we understand is a very complicated case.”

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