Atlanta Public Schools
5:45 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

Ethics Commission Votes to Investigate APS Board Member

There will be an investigation regarding alleged ethics violations by Atlanta Public Schools Board member Courtney English.

Courtney English
Credit Atlanta Public Schools

On Friday, the district’s Ethics Commission voted there was sufficient evidence to move forward.

At issue is whether or not Courtney English was ever employed by a company that was soliciting business with the school system.

If so, that would violate several provisions of the APS charter.

The company is Child First USA, which according to its website, works to improve high school and college graduation rates.

Earlier in the week APS board chair Reuben McDaniel told WABE, after speaking with English, he was convinced no violations had occurred.

“At this point I am satisfied, the administration is satisfied that Courtney is not working for that company and therefore there is no conflict.”

APS parent Janet Kishbaugh declined to be interviewed, but she filed the complaint.

Within the 43-page document, there are email exchanges, links to websites and a tweet from English’s twitter account submitted as evidence.

Kishbaugh says she became aware of the alleged ethics violation on Sept. 28th.

That’s the also the same day Kishbaugh acknowledges McDaniel asked her to file the complaint.

According to Kishbaugh, McDaniel stated APS could provide supporting documents if she first filed an open records request.

Kishbaugh did.

After receiving the documents she filed the complaint November 5th.

This week McDaniel denied knowing Kishbaugh was going through with the complaint.

“Now, Janet told me on the phone that she was not going to file an ethics complaint. She changed her mind and decided to do it, but I had no indication of that until Friday when I heard it.”

McDaniel is referring to last Friday, November the 9th.

In a statement, Courtney English denied the charges and called the complaint a “frivolous attempt to silence the call for excellence and equity throughout APS”.