Ex-Greenville schools chief seeks shorter sentence

djournal_Court-NewsBy Patsy R. Brumfield

Daily Journal

ABERDEEN – Ex-Greenville schools chief Harvey Franklin insists he doesn’t deserve lengthy prison time for admitting to a bribery conspiracy.

Federal prosecutors say Franklin’s failure to earn leniency “is entirely his own fault.”

Franklin, 56, is set for sentencing Wednesday before U.S. District Judge Sharion Aycock in Aberdeen.

He pleaded guilty Aug. 2, 2012, to three counts of conspiracy to receive a bribe while he was the school district’s superintendent.

He resigned shortly after he knew he was in the government’s cross hairs.

70 to 87 months

The U.S. Probation Service’s pre-sentence report calculates that he deserves a 70-87 months sentence.

Franklin insists he thought he would get leniency by promising to testify against Edna Goble, a Georgia consultant whose company gained $1.4 million from the Greenville Public School District to assist “at risk” reading students.

Goble, who was charged with 10 counts of bribery, paid nearly $273,000 to benefit Franklin while he advocated on her company’s behalf with GPSD.

Just before going to trial Oct. 7, she pleaded guilty to a deal which ensured only a six-month home confinement.

Secret meeting

The deal, the government said, was necessary because they discovered that Franklin had met secretly with Goble and planned to tell her jury that her payments to him were never a bribe but a loan.

“Harvey Franklin did not substantially assist the government in the prosecution of Edna Goble,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office states in a Thursday response to Franklin’s sentence objection.

“The government has no intention” of asking for a shorter sentence, it reads, “because he simply has not earned it.”

patsy.brumfield@journalinc.com