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2 Charter School CEOs Cleared in Philadelphia Fraud Case

(Michael Slade, following his acquittal, outside the federal courthouse in Philadelphia.  Photo by Pat Loeb)

(Michael Slade, following his acquittal, outside the federal courthouse in Philadelphia. Photo by Pat Loeb)

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By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Jurors have acquitted two of the three defendants in a $6-million fraud case involving a group of Philadelphia charter schools, but they continue deliberating charges against the schools’ founder.

After a week of deliberations, a federal jury today said it had not reached a verdict on any of the charges against charter founder Dorothy June Brown but had found her two co-defendants not guilty of conspiracy to help her cover up alleged fraud at her four schools.

Acquitted were Courteney Knight and Michael Slade. The men had been CEOs at two of the schools.

Slade (top photo), who is Brown’s great-nephew, says he is confident that Brown will ultimately be acquitted too.

“Dr. Brown is the best educator I have ever known, ever seen.  I am lucky to have worked with her and to learn.  Everything I know about education, 90 percent is from Dr. Brown,” he said.

Prosecutors said they weren’t permitted to comment on the verdict.

The judge told the jury they will have as much time as they need to decide the case against Brown when they return after a break after the holidays.