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More indictments coming in false school enrollment crackdown

Houston County District Attorney Kelly Burke’s office will present another round of indictments against parents who are believed to have used falsified addresses to attend Houston County schools to a grand jury Sept. 29.

While dozens may be eventually indicted, Burke said his office will present two cases Tuesday and will continue to do so in upcoming weeks because of other demands on staff.

Burke said his office was not concerned with punishing those affected by the enrollment amendment passed by the Houston County Board of Education on Wednesday in a unanimous vote. The amendment prohibits parents from granting legal guardianship to a Houston County resident or renting or leasing property in the county with the intent of enrolling children in the system’s schools.

“We’re prosecuting people who are falsifying addresses provided to the school system to get a free education on the backs of Houston County taxpayers,” Burke said.

While the prosecuting continues, Burke said the majority of these cases should be resolved between the school board and individual families.

Two indictments have already been filed. Terry O’Rear, of Hawkinsville, was indicted on two counts of false statements and writings. Cliff and Tammy Pulsifer of Fort Valley were indicted on one count of false statements and writing.

To contact Andrea Castillo, call 256-9751.

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