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Trial of businessman accused of bribing educator rescheduled

GREENVILLE — The trial of a Georgia businesswoman on federal charges of paying bribes to a former superintendent of schools in Greenville has been rescheduled for July 22.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John Marshall Alexander tells the Delta Democrat Times the defense needed more time to prepare for trial. Alexander says Edna Goble’s trial had been set for Monday in U.S. District Court in Oxford.

Goble, of Conyers, Ga., faces 10 counts of providing things of value to former superintendent Harvey Franklin Sr. in exchange for a consulting contract with the Greenville Public School District. She has pleaded not guilty.

Goble is founder and president of Teach Them to Read Inc., a reading-intervention company that was paid $1.4 million by the Greenville district, according to court documents.

Franklin pleaded guilty last August to accepting $47,000 in bribes from Goble. He has not been sentenced. He resigned last May.

Franklin was appointed superintendent in Greenville in July 2009. The district’s contract with Teach Them to Read Inc. started in January 2010, and prosecutors said the $1.4 million paid to the Goble’s company all came from federal grants.

The indictment alleges Goble bought cashier’s checks through her business and used them to pay for improvements to Franklin’s home and tuition for Franklin’s children to Drexel University and Tulane University. The indictment says Goble also paid off a truck loan and Franklin’s credit card debt. The indictment says payments were made between May 2010 and May 2011.

Goble’s reading program, called EDNA, for Early Detection Necessary Action, provided training and supplies for kindergarten through third grade. Officials have said Greenville was the only school district in Mississippi using EDNA

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