Former Cobb County superintendent refuses to appear before grand jury investigating Apple Mac deal

“The former Cobb County Schools superintendent who resigned last year after an audit found he manipulated a laptop contract in favor of Apple computers has to appear before a grand jury empaneled to investigate the failed program,” The Associated Press reports.

“Joe Redden had been subpoenaed by the special grand jury to testify yesterday and two other days this month,” AP reports. “The grand jury has met every Friday since November 2005 to investigate the failed 100.8 million-dollar student laptop program that led to Redden’s resignation in August 2005.”

“Redden’s attorney, Brian Steel of Atlanta, filed a motion Wednesday [that] argues that although Redden is not specifically named as the investigation’s target, he is under suspicion because a school board-commissioned investigation by private firm Kessler International said he was responsible for selecting Apple Computer to carry out the laptop program without supplying adequate documentation to make the decision,” AP reports.

“Redden’s proposal to provide laptops to teachers and eventually to all students in grades six through 12 led to a lawsuit filed by a former county commissioner, who challenged the method of using proceeds from a special sales tax approved in 2003,” AP reports. “The contention was that voters were not aware that they would be paying for laptops with the money.”

Full article here.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Special grand jury to look into Cobb County Schools iBook program – October 07, 2005
Cobb County Schools Superintendent Redden resigns over Apple iBook imbroglio – August 23, 2005
Cobb County Schools Superintendent blasts Apple iBook audit findings – August 16, 2005
Investigation finds Cobb School Board ‘deceived’ the public, Apple iBook deal terminated – August 15, 2005
Cobb County school board pulls plug on 63,000 Apple iBooks plan – August 02, 2005
Judge shuts down 63,000 Apple iBooks for Cobb County students – July 29, 2005
One Cobb County Apple iBook audit expected to finish soon – July 27, 2005
Inquiry into Cobb County Apple iBook bids requested – July 14, 2005
Cobb County iBook saga: allegations that school leaders pressured employees to pick Apple – July 11, 2005
Lawsuit to halt Cobb County’s 63,000 Apple iBooks for education plan goes to court today – July 08, 2005
Cobb County’s Apple iBooks in schools saga continues with lawsuit – June 04, 2005
Lawsuit filed to stop Cobb County’s Apple iBook program – June 01, 2005
Cobb County school board approves Apple Mac plan; could eventually distribute 63,000 iBooks – April 29, 2005
Cobb County school officials intend to move forward with Apple iBook program – April 21, 2005
Cobb Commission chief urges delay in Apple iBook program, says issue has become too emotional – April 20, 2005
No conflict of interest in ongoing Cobb County Apple iBook saga – April 19, 2005
More controversy in Atlanta-area school district’s plan to buy Apple iBooks – April 16, 2005
Cobb County Georgia approves first phase of plan that could equip schools with 63,000 Apple iBooks – April 15, 2005
Atlanta-area school district on verge of deal for 31,000 Apple iBooks – April 12, 2005
Cobb teachers voice concerns over using Macs for proposed laptop program – March 29, 2005
Cobb County Georgia meeting discusses plan to equip schools with 63,000 Apple iBooks – February 24, 2005
Report: 90 percent of emails opposed to Georgia’s Apple iBook program – February 10, 2005
65,000 Apple iBooks for Georgia schools one of the largest school laptop programs in the country – February 10, 2005
Georgia school district to propose 63,000 Macs for students and teachers – February 07, 2005

44 Comments

  1. I used to live in Cobb – now I live in a nearby county. I think it’s ludicrous that much of the uproar is because the “voters were not aware that they would be paying for laptops with the money”. Since when does the government come ask any of us if we approve of everything they spending money on?

    I don’t approve of the majority of the spending initiatives that Congress comes up with. Can I sue them for it?

    That’s the whole idea of taxes: the money is taken from you without the ability to say “no” and it is spent on things without your approval.

  2. Why are the taxpayers buying laptops for kids. Buy desktops they are less expensive and they can control the environment. I don’t want my child hooking up with some pervert because no one is watching to see where he goes. When I feel he can handle the lap to I will purchase it.

  3. Redden is accused of not “supplying adequate documentation to make the decision” to authorize purchase over 1 million dollars of Apple computers. Since he works for the school system maybe the excuse, “My dog ate it.” will suffice.

    I still don’t think that Redden managed to conspire to defraud the citizen’s of Cobb County by himself. Redden probably is guilty of being a Mac user himself and this is enough to tarnish his objectivity in the eyes of his accusers. I doubt that a PC user would face such criticism.

    No doubt there is always some subjectivity in making a decision to purchase anything using taxpayer’s money. However, the laws and regulations of the county may favor the lowest bidder and everyone seems to believe that PC’s are cheaper to purchase if not maintain.

    I think that there is more to the story than what MDN has presented.

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