Address fraud uncovered among student athletes at Grady HS

8:42 AM, Dec 21, 2013   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Public Schools on Friday confirmed allegations of address fraud in connection with the recruitment of student athletes at Grady High School.

After interviewing a number of parents and guardians of Grady football players, the school system says they have conclusive evidence of address fraud.

In a release, APS Superintendent Erroll Davis said they have confirmed that parents falsified affidavits for students who lived outside of the Grady High School attendance zone, and in some instances, even outside the city of Atlanta.

The release says additional issues were uncovered that warrant further investigation.

"Players who were fraudulently enrolled will be required to leave the school. Parents who falsified enrollment affidavits are subject to reimbursing the district tuition of up to $10,000 per school year, as well as other legal consequences that may be pursued," Davis said in the statement.

The school system, which has been under fire for the ongoing APS test cheating scandal, said in the release that there are issues of institutional control that need to be addressed.

"Integrity is paramount," Davis said, "And we want to send a message that false affidavits have academic, personnel, financial and legal consequences that are simply not worth it."

Once APS completes its investigation, the district will share its findings with the Georgia High School Association (GHSA), which will open an investigation of its own.

Executive director Dr. Ralph Swearingin told 11Alive's Blayne Alexander the GHSA will determine whether the students are eligible to play at their home school.

"If they have been participating at Grady when they've not been eligible, we'd then have to decide if they should be then allowed to participate at their home school," Dr. Swearingin said. "Once we get this [case], there will be a lot of pieces to sort out."

Officials said their investigation is ongoing and will continue once school resumes after the holidays.

District Attorney Paul Howard did not want to speculate on potential criminal charges, but told Alexander his office will meet with APS officials in the coming weeks to discuss the investigation.

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