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CCCC Press Conference

During our November 30 press conference, CCCC released Teams messages and emails obtained via open records requests that show Cobb County School District employees monitored students speaking at public comment, belittled speakers, intimidated the press, and used taxpayer-funded district resources to further a political agenda.

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How Cobb spent millions to dilute the voting power of Black and Latino families

Intro paragraph

Secret meetings with board chair Scamihorn, Earl Ehrhart, and others at Taylor English

The redistricting process began in May 2021 when Board Chair Randy Scamihorn met with several individuals, including former Georgia state representative Earl Ehrhart and Bryan Tyson of the law firm Taylor English. The group met to discuss a potential contract to have the firm draw redistricting maps for the Cobb County School board. Also present was Andy Steinhauser, a district employee listed as being in public relations, and John Floresta, another district employee who is Cobb’s Chief Strategy and Accountability Officer.

Source: Deposition of Bryan Tyson referenced on Page 3 of Motion for Preliminary Injunction.

Scamihorn introduces the idea of hiring an outside firm to the board for redistricting

At the July 2021 board meeting, Board chair Scamihorn first introduces the idea of hiring a firm for redistricting to the full board, a full two months after that initial meeting. Members of the board minority ask if there will be the normal bidding process, but the chair indicates a preference to a firm without disclosing that he’s already met with Taylor English to have them draw the school board map. Superintendent Ragsdale says that the map process “is not the district. This is total – just the board.” even though district employees have been in that initial meeting and will be heavily involved in the process.

Source: Deposition of Bryan Tyson referenced on Page 3 of Motion for Preliminary Injunction, Cobb County Courier, Archive of July 2021 Board Meeting.

The school board approves contract for Taylor English along a party line vote

At the August 2021 board meeting, Board chair Scamihorn provides information to the board that he intends to make a motion to hire Taylor English for redistricting. Then-Board member Charisse Davis brings up concerns and then asks the chair if he knows that Earl Ehrhart is CEO of the firm and informs of his past history of supporting maps that have been overturned. Board chair Scamihorn says he did not know Ehrhart was with the firm and that he isn’t involved with the redistricting process despite Scamihorn having met with Ehrhart that May specifically for redistricting. Despite Board member David Banks saying he would not support the idea of hiring a firm, he eventually joins with the GOP majority to approve hiring Taylor English on a 4-3 party line vote.

Source: Cobb County Courier, Archive of August 2021 Board Meeting.

A map is presented and approved by the school board along another party line vote

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