*A judge has reduced the sentences of three former Atlanta Public School educators who received the longest sentences for their racketeering convictions in the mass cheating case.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter dropped the incarceration time from seven years in prison to three; and also reduced the number of years they have to spend on probation once they complete their prison sentences from 13 years to seven years, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Baxter said he reconsidered the sentences of former regional directors Tamara Cotman, Michael Pitts and Sharon Davis-Williams because he was “not comfortable” with the sentence he had given them earlier this month.
The three were convicted April 1 of violating the Georgia Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. The prosecutors said the collusion, intimidation and cover-ups of teachers changing wrong answers to right on yearly tests amounted to a criminal enterprise.
About two weeks later, Baxter sentenced the three to seven years in prison to be followed by 13 years probation, more than twice what the prosecution had requested. Baxter said Cotman, Pitts and Davis-Williams, as regional leaders, bore more responsibility than teachers who were also convicted. Last week, Baxter scheduled a resentencing after having a change of mind.
Prosecutors asked that those three get sentences of three years in prison and seven years probation.