Ex-consultant pleads guilty in Atlanta school case

Ex-consultant pleads guilty in Atlanta school case

ATLANTA (AP) - A businessman has pleaded guilty to conspiring with a former chief information officer for Atlanta's public school system to accept bribes in exchange for steering a lucrative contract to an unnamed technology firm.

Mahendra Patel of Kennesaw pleaded guilty Friday in federal court. Prosecutors say he faces a maximum of 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Patel was indicted along with Jerome Oberlton, who served as CIO for Atlanta Public Schools from 2004 to 2007. Prosecutors allege Oberlton used his influence to award a $780,000 computer project to a Detroit-based firm in exchange for kickbacks.

Oberlton has pleaded not guilty, and a trial date hasn't been scheduled.

Shortly after he was indicted, Oberlton resigned from his position as chief of staff with the Dallas Independent School District.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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