Charges sought after Charter Schools event gets testy

5:27 PM, Sep 27, 2012   |    comments
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  • Georgia PTA lobbyist Sally Fitzgerald claims she was shoved by Georgia Charter Schools Association Exec. VP Andrew Lewis during an anti-Charter Schools Amendment event Tuesday.
  • GA PTA lobbyist Sally Figzgerald files report with State Capitol Police officer on Thursday
  • Andrew Lewis, Executive VP of Georgia Charter Schools Association

ATLANTA -- A Georgia State Senator and a Georgia PTA lobbyist want criminal charges brought against one of the leaders of the Georgia Charter Schools Association.

The request stems from a reported shoving match at an anti-Charter Schools Amendment news conference at the Capitol on Tuesday.

Georgia PTA lobbyist Sally Fitzgerald claims she was shoved from behind by Georgia Charter Schools Association Exec. VP Andrew Lewis, who was part of a group who interrupted an anti-Charter Schools Amendment event.

"We're 48 hours out, heard nothing; he's toast," Fitzgerald told reporters on Thursday, just before filing a complaint with State Capitol Police.

VIDEO | Charter Schools event gets testy 

"I was attempting to stand between a passionate parent and a lobbyist representing several special interest groups, both waiving signs at the Capitol," Lewis said in a statement Thursday. "Obviously it caused the lobbyist to lose their balance, and for that I apologize. That doesn't change the fact that this story is about community activists and educrats who are trying to deny parents and children better educational options. Shame on them."

Fitzgerald and State Senator Emanuel Jones (D-Decatur) filed a report with a State Capitol Police Officer on Thursday morning asking for battery charges against Lewis, which are misdemeanors.

"What I would personally like to see is Mr. Andrew Lewis in prison; I would like to see him arrested," said Jones.

The officer said Capitol Police will look into the matter, including viewing TV news clips of what happened, before deciding whether any formal charges may be filed.

Meanwhile Fitzgerald defended her side for asking a young charter school student at the Tuesday event why she was at the Capitol and not in school.

She said every adult has the right to be concerned about truancy laws, even if the child isn't their own.

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