Updated at: 09/06/2013 10:05 AM
(AP) ATLANTA - A jury has found a former educator not guilty in the first trial connected to a cheating scandal at Atlanta schools.
The verdict clearing Tamara Cotman was announced Friday. Cotman was a former area director for Atlanta Public Schools. She had been accused of trying to influence a witness.
Cotman is among 35 former administrators and teachers who faced criminal charges for allegedly changing students’ answers on standardized tests.
The charges stem from a 2011 state investigation, which concluded that cheating occurred at 44 Atlanta schools so educators could avoid losing their jobs and earn bonuses.
Cotman’s former boss, ex-superintendent Beverly Hall, was indicted and is fighting the charges against her.
Cotman stood trial before the other defendants because her attorney requested a speedy trial.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)