Defense questions Dallemand’s truthfulness of bribery story

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Defense attorneys began to cross-examine former Bibb County School superintendent, Dr. Romain Dallemand in day 6 of trial, Monday morning.

Defense attorney, Bruce Morris, started by questioning Dallemand’s bribery story. Dallemand claims former Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority (MBCIA) chairman, Cliffard Whitby, paid him $100,000 to get the Bibb County School district to support the Macon Promise Neighborhood (MPN).

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Morris questioned Dallemand’s actions when covering up the money. Dallemand claims he and Whitby created a business named Belhannes LLC in order to hide money Whitby would give Dallemand. Dallemand also drafted up plans to use as a cover-up. He planned to build a University Center in Haiti. On Friday, Dallemand said he created a Joint Ventures Plan for the University Center to use as “window dressing”, but would never follow through with plans.

Morris pointed out that Dallemand did go on trips to Haiti and spoke to several people about the plans he had for education in Haiti.

The defense also brought up the recorded conversations between Whitby and Dallemand. Morris mentioned how Whitby nor Dallemand said the words “bribe” or “reward”. Dallemand said he and Whitby never discussed business on the phone; they were discrete.



Morris says Dallemand also never told FBI agents Whitby was writing on a place mat their Denny’s meeting in April of 2017, until August of this year. Dallemand says he was not thinking clearly and was “sick to my (his) stomach” after the Denny’s meeting.

Defense attorney for Positiventures, Seth Kirschenbaum, followed Morris and took the approach of bringing up Dallemand’s tax records. Kirschenbaum questioned Dallemand’s credibility after he lied to agents before.

 

Dallemand pleaded guilty to filing a false tax return last year and accepted a plea deal. His deal includes cooperating with government throughout the investigation. Dallemandis waiting to be sentenced, but could face up to three years in prison. Kirschenbaum asked Dallemand if he would get a lesser sentence since he’s working with the government. Dallemand said that could be a possibility and continued by saying,”I agreed to tell the truth and that’s what I’m doing.”

Monday’s trial ended with Dallemand still on the stand. The defense says it’s expected to rest its case by Friday.

Stay with 41NBC for updates on the trial.