Woman pleads guilty to bribing ex-school superintendent

bribeGREENVILLE — A Georgia businesswoman has pleaded guilty to federal charges of bribing a former superintendent of schools in Greenville in exchange for a contract for her company’s reading program.

Edna Goble entered the plea yesterday to one count in federal court in Oxford shortly before her trial was to begin. No sentencing date has been set. She faces a maximum of five years in prison and three years’ supervised release.

Goble, of Conyers, Ga., faced 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.

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 in August of 2012 to accepting $47,000 in bribes from Goble. He has not been sentenced. He resigned in May of 2012.

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 alleged 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 said 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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