William Pittman testifies

By: Laurie Ott
By: Laurie Ott

Linda Schrenko was his elementary school principal, and today he testified in a federal trial in Atlanta.

News 12's Laurie Ott was the only local reporter in Atlanta for the testimony of William Pittman.

Another local connection to this federal trial involving your tax money. William Pittman is a Richmond County schoolteacher. He testified this morning that in June 2002 he became an unpaid campaign worker for Schrenko, driving both her and Merle Temple around.

Pittman testified the relationship between Schrenko and Temple was odd, and that the two often whispered when they spoke to each other on the phone. Pittman testified that in July of 2002, he drove Temple to Atlanta for a breakfast meeting with Stephan Botes, Schrenko's former co-defendant. Pittman testified that when Temple left the meeting, he had an envelope with him. Prosecutors say inside that envelope was thousands of dollars in cash, money they say came from your federal education dollars through Botes' company.

Pittman testified Temple never paid him until late July 2002, handing him $5000 in cash, and immediately asking for it back as a donation to the campaign. Pittman testified he did try to hand the cash back, but Temple persuaded him to write a $5000 check. Prosecutors say the source of that money was your federal education dollars. On cross-examination by Botes' attorney, Pittman acknowledged he never saw or heard Botes do anything illegal.

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