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Gene Harris to Face Dereliction Charge in Columbus Schools Data Scandal

The Franklin County prosecutor says he will charge former Columbus school Superintendent Gene Harris today with dereliction of duty — a misdemeanor — in connection with the district’s student-data scandal.

Harris is expected to plead no contest to the charge in court on Wednesday. That means she doesn’t admit guilt but admits that the facts of the case are strong enough to support a conviction. Harris is unlikely to face other criminal prosecution.

The criminal charge against Harris comes about 2 1/2 years after widespread fraud on her watch became publicly known. She led Columbus City Schools for more than a decade, including during the time her direct subordinate and many principals falsified student records in order to make the schools seem higher-performing. She retired in summer 2013.