GBI Director meets behind closed doors in Albany - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

GBI Director meets behind closed doors in Albany

CRCT lead investigators Mike Bowers and Bob Wilson CRCT lead investigators Mike Bowers and Bob Wilson

The GBI Director came to Albany to get a personal briefing from state investigators handling the CRCT cheating probe into Dougherty County Schools.

Vernon Keenan met behind closed doors at an Albany hotel with GBI agents who conducted 500 interviews with teachers, parents, and students.

As many as a dozen GBI agents gathered to brief state investigators and the GBI Director Vernon Keenan himself on what they've learned over the last month and a half of interviewing teachers, parents, and students in Dougherty County.

"We're going to have a full de-briefing here today with them, but we've been involved with them on a daily basis in some of the interviews, but they have done the mass of the interviews," said Bob Wilson, CRCT lead investigator.

Close to 500 interviews to be exact, some times two and three times with the same individual. It signifies the end of the GBI's day to day involvement in the Dougherty County schools, but investigators caution they're not through talking to everybody.

"We will move on later into the administration into more depth, where we are interviewing every principal again, various people in the administration," said Wilson.

They'll also be working their way through the information already collected from interviews to computers seized from Jackson Heights elementary school, to other documents collected.

"The information that we've gotten here has been secured through cooperation and the measure of cooperation here has been extensive," said Mike Bowers, CRCT lead investigator.

"We will be analyzing over the next few weeks all of the information that we have from the GBI, that will help us focus on who we want to bring back in for further questioning," said Wilson.

Investigators have set a strict timeline for finishing this investigation.

"We will refocus in the middle of October and carry that forward to a conclusion and hopefully by sometimes in November we will have our report ready for the Governor," said Wilson.

While they haven't questioned people in every school, they've done extensive interviews at 11 elementary schools and will consider information from all schools as results are finalized.

State investigators previously said they already have enough evidence to prosecute educators.

They say teachers who tell the truth won't face criminal charges.

Copyright 2011 WALB.  All rights reserved.   

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