Photo by Heather Middleton
By Mehgaan Jones and Curt Yeomans
The security chief for Clayton County Public Schools has pleaded guilty to a felony bribery charge, and has been given a five-year sentence, to serve on probation, along with a $750 fine.
John Walker, Jr. pleaded guilty in Clayton County Superior Court, before Judge Matthew Simmons, during a calendar call on Thursday morning, according to Clayton County Chief Assistant District Attorney Erman Tanjuatco.
"He [Walker] will receive five years, first offender probation, a $750 fine, and a $32 probation supervision fee, throughout the course of his probation," said Tanjuatco.
He added that if Walker had proceeded with the trial, and been convicted of the charge against him, he could have faced one, to 20 years, in prison, with a fine of up to $5,000.
Walker originally pleaded not guilty to the charges, last December, according to Tanjuatco.
Walker was indicted by a Clayton County Grand Jury last October, for attempting to bribe Clayton County Magistrate Court Judge Daphne Walker (no relation). He was trying to influence her decision on the selection of a vendor that would work for Clayton County's Superior, State, and Magistrate courts, according to court documents.
On Thursday, the spokesman for the Clayton County School System, Charles White, would not give information regarding the status of Walker's job, as Director of Investigations and Student Engagement for the school system.
"Mr. Walker made the district aware that he had a court appearance today, and we're declining to comment further, because it is a personnel issue," said White.
According to Erman Tanjuatco, Judge Daphne Walker did testify, in court, on Thursday.
Tanjuatco added that when he asked Judge Walker, before the sentencing, whether the plea offer by the District Attorney's Office to John Walker was a fair recommendation, she agreed that it was a fair judgment. Judge Walker could not be reached for comment late Thursday night.