Court gavel

The federal trial of two former Athens City Schools employees and one current employee has been moved to next year after the three requested a delay during conference calls earlier this month, records show.

The group is accused of working with three other current and retired educators in the state to obtain additional funding for Athens City and Limestone County school districts — as well as themselves — through falsified student records and inflated enrollment numbers. Former Limestone County Schools Superintendent Tom Sisk, retired educator Gregory Corkren and former Marengo County football coach Webb Tutt have each pleaded guilty to charges stemming from their roles in the multiyear scheme.

A jury trial for former ACS Superintendent Trey Holladay, former educator Deborah Holladay and ACS Executive Director of Planning Rick Carter was scheduled for Sept. 13. Total, the Holladays and Carter face 254 charges, including wire/mail fraud, aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to commit wire/mail fraud.

Their trial is now set to begin 10 a.m. Feb. 7, 2022, at the Frank M. Johnson Jr. U.S. Courthouse Complex in Montgomery. U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson further ordered additional questions for the juror questionnaire to be filed by Sept. 24, for motions in limine to be filed no later than Dec. 27 and for a pretrial hearing to be held via videoconference Jan. 31, 2022.

Sentencing delay?

Sisk, Corkren and Tutt each pleaded guilty to their respective charges in April. Sisk and Corkren acknowledged in their plea agreements that they had assisted with the investigation into the scheme and that the government could request a reduced sentence.

Their sentencing hearings were set for July 29, but Corkren has since asked to file a motion under seal related to a continuance of his sentencing. Whether the motion was granted and what the new sentencing date would be was not made available by The News Courier's press deadline Tuesday.

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