Harvey Franklin, former Superintendent of Schools for Greenville, Mississippi, pled guilty last year in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi to accepting more than $272,000 in bribes from Edna Goble, of Conyers, Georgia, and owner of Teach Them to Read Inc., reported in the Jackson Clarion-Ledger. The Greenville School District awarded Teach Them to Read Inc. a $1.4 million contract in Federal grant money in 2010 to provide training and supplies for a reading program for students in kindergarten through third grade. Franklin recommended Goble’s company to the School District. The government alleged that, after Teach Them to Read Inc. was awarded the contract, Goble made bribes to Franklin, including paying for improvements to Franklin’s home, paying tuition for his children to attend Tulane University and Drexel University, and paying off Franklin’s truck loan and credit cards bills.
Franklin faces a maximum 87 months’ imprisonment. He is to be sentenced today. Franklin’s attorney has argued that his proposed sentence would be double the sentences that others have received in similar cases. The attorney has argued that a former Supervisor of Lafayette County, Mississippi, received a 36-month prison sentence for receiving more than $551,000 in kickbacks. Franklin has refused to admit that the payments from Goble constituted bribes.
Goble pled guilty to one count of bribery, but has not yet been sentenced. The prosecution has recommended that Goble be sentenced to 6 months’ house arrest as a result of her substantial assistance to the government.
Franklin met Goble when the two of them worked for School District of Fort Walton County, Georgia. Goble hired Franklin’s daughter to work for her.
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