Oct. 05–MACON, Ga. — Attorneys for two men on balloon for allegedly artful to allurement the administrator of Bibb County’s accessible schools connected their efforts on Friday to abnegate prosecutors’ accusations of their clients’ clandestine affairs in the anatomy of kickbacks and money laundering.
Defense attorneys for the accused — Macon agent Cliffard D. Whitby and arresting Tallahassee, Florida, advocate Harold M. Knowles — declared to the attestant angle business associates, clergymen and others.
The aegis attorneys in the now-two-week-old trial, in aggravating to assail the believability of the government’s brilliant attestant — ex-schools administrator Romain Dallemand — declared to the angle assemblage whose recollections of contest in catechism differed from Dallemand’s.
Notable was the affidavit of Cory McFarlane, one of Knowles’ above assembly in Knowles’ Pinnacle architecture company. Dallemand testified aftermost anniversary that about the time Pinnacle awash Bibb schools a software amalgamation for $3.25 actor in backward 2012, he met McFarlane, Whitby and Knowles in south Georgia to altercate “how much” in kickbacks “each one of us had coming.”
Dallemand said the four men placed their cellphones in one car and again rode about in addition car to talk. “There were,” Dallemand testified, “trust issues.”
But on Friday, McFarlane, declared as a “chief visionary” of Knowles’ company, acknowledged that. McFarlane, who is not answerable in the case, said there was no such meeting.
The defense’s aim, at atomic in part, is to casting Dallemand as a scamster out to baffle the academy commune and locals alike, in aspect conning them into advance in arguable altruistic and educational endeavors, as able-bodied as banking undertakings both actuality and in his built-in Haiti.
Dallemand, who has pleaded accusable to a tax abomination in barter for testifying about the declared bribery, accepted on the angle to actuality a cheat — to the bodies and accouchement of the canton and to his family. However, he said was actuality accurate in his annual of how the declared allurement arrangement played out.
He additionally said declared payoffs that Whitby and Knowles are accused of funneling into his coffer accounts were not funds for investments, as aegis attorneys accept at times suggested.
The Rev. Bryant Raines said Dallemand, whose two-year administration as schools arch concluded in 2013, had approved investors for educational endeavors in Haiti and added ventures as aboriginal as 2012.
Raines, who is pastor of New Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church, said back Dallemand took appointment in aboriginal 2011, the administrator seemed to be actuality to do good.
In hindsight, Raines said Dallemand “really raped our academy system. … He’s manipulated everybody about here.”
Another aegis witness, the Rev. James Baker of New Beginning Missionary Baptist Church, said he was aing to Dallemand and became article of a airy adviser for him.
Baker additionally told of Dallemand’s coursing for investors in business ventures and said Dallemand already asked him for $5,000.
Baker said Dallemand, accepted for his ego and beyond-pushy administration style, sometimes batten of himself in Biblical terms. Baker remembered Dallemand saying, “I aloof accept God beatific me actuality to be our Moses.”
“I said, ‘Lord, Jesus,’ ” Baker recalled Friday as the attorneys erupted in laughter.
Whitby, 56, and Knowles, 71, are accordingly accused, amid added crimes, of conspiring to allurement Dallemand, advantageous him a $100,000 allurement and conspiring to acquit money.
It charcoal to be apparent whether Whitby or Knowles will testify.
Individually, Whitby, a developer and above administrator of the Macon-Bibb Canton Industrial Authority, is accused of advantageous Dallemand bribes in the anatomy of a banknote acquittal and bristles checks accretion $358,000 amid the summer of 2013 and aboriginal 2017.
Knowles, a construction-firm buyer and arresting advocate in arctic Florida, additionally is answerable with alms Dallemand a allurement in the anatomy of buying in Knowles’ architecture close in barter for affairs with the Bibb academy system.
Testimony, which resumes Monday at 8 a.m., may end ancient about the average of aing week.
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