School corruption trial begins in DeKalb County - - The News for South Mississippi

School corruption trial begins in DeKalb County

Patricia Reid, defendant Patricia Reid, defendant

Opening statements are expected Thursday in the trial of a former DeKalb County school official accused of steering multimillion-dollar projects toward her architect husband.

Patricia Reid was the chief operating officer for the DeKalb County School District. Prosecutors say she canceled bids with construction companies and used the district's money in contracts that were awarded to a company owned by her then-husband, Tony Pope.

Pope and Reid are being tried together.

Former DeKalb County schools superintendent Crawford Lewis is expected to be the star witness in the trial. Earlier this month, Lewis agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of obstruction or hindering a law enforcement officer. He was arrested in 2010 and was originally charged with felony counts of theft by taking and racketeering. Lewis was accused of knowingly approving the arrangement involving Pope.

As part of his plea agreement, Lewis will testify against Pope and Reid. He's expected to be sentenced afterward.

Copyright 2013 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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