EPISD Cheating Scandal Trial Ends In A Mistrial – Assistant U.S. Attorney Is “Sorry” For What She And Her Staff Did
Five former EPISD administrators are probably breathing a little easier right now because the trial about their roles in the massive district-wide cheating scandal ended in a mistrial Wednesday morning.
Federal prosecutors in the case were found to have withheld hundreds of documents until last weekend. Assistant U. S. Attorney Debra Kanoff said that she feels “very bad” about the screw-up. She said, “In our long careers, we have never experienced anything like this.”
That’s great, Ms. Kanoff, but that isn’t going to replace the tens of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money you and your staff squandered because you didn’t do your job properly. It also won’t help with the additional taxpayer money that will be spent on a retrial. Perhaps you need to get a calendar of some sort to remind you to turn over documents in a timely manner.
The five former administrators aren’t off the hook yet because they will be retried at a later date. The five defendants - former EPISD Associate Superintendent James Anderson, former Austin High School Principal John Tanner and former Austin Assistant Principals Mark Tegmeyer, Diane Thomas and Nancy Love are facing a myriad of charges. They allegedly contributed to the scheme that saw a number of EPISD students denied their education because they were promoted past their grade levels, held back from going to the next grade level, or were asked to drop out of school in order for the district to get better marks on standardized test scores.
Damon Murphy, a former associate superintendent, and former EPISD administrators Vanessa Foreman and Maria Flores are awaiting sentencing for their roles in the scheme. They have already plead guilty.
The mastermind of the cheating scheme, former superintendent Lorenzo Garcia was tried and found guilty for his role. He served two and a half years in prison.
There is no word on when a retrial will be scheduled.