November 12, 2004
An article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Nov. 11) discusses the indictment of the former Georgia School Superintendent Linda Schrenko, a one-time rising star in the Georgia Republican Party who ran for governor in the 2002 Republican primary, losing to now-Governor Perdue. In 1994, Schrenko was the first woman to be elected to a statewide office in Georgia.
The indictment charges both wire fraud and theft of federal property. The article states:
Former Georgia School Superintendent Linda Schrenko, whose groundbreaking political career dissolved into erratic behavior and defeat, was indicted Wednesday on federal charges that she stole more than $500,000 in taxpayer money and spent part of it on cosmetic surgery.
Schrenko, 54; her close friend and chief assistant Merle Temple, 56; and Alpharetta businessman A. Stephan Botes, 47, were named in an 18-count indictment that alleges they were involved in a scheme to steal federal education funds and secretly funnel about half the money to Schrenko's failed 2002 campaign for governor.
One allegation designed to draw attention is the claim that Schrenko used $9,300 of the money she received improperly to pay for a face lift; in November 2002, she acknowledged having cosmetic surgery. The article quotes Sally Q. Yates, the acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia: "The defendants attempted to cover up the scheme by filing false campaign disclosure forms, creating back-dated contracts, devising false cover stories and lying to state of Georgia auditors and to the public." The indictment is another example of the federal push against state and local corruption. (ph)