Cobb County, GA’s purchase of 63,000 iBooks for middle school teachers and students may be falling apart, according to Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Mike King’s column “Bombshell may unravel Cobb laptops”. Choice bits:
The county’s district attorney has been asked to determine whether the bidding process was rigged to make sure that Apple became the favored supplier. His investigation will likely lead to a grand jury probe. And the school board — in what appears to be a rare sign of independence from its superintendent on the issue — has decided to hire an auditing firm out of New York to look over the whole bidding procedure.
Lost in the bombshell of that disclosure was the reason for the lawsuit in the first place: that the school district pulled a bait-and-switch on voters in 2003 when they got them to approve about $70 million in sales taxes for new technology but never told them it would be used to purchase 63,000 laptops for students and teachers to take home with them.
As a Cobb County resident and Mac fan, I blogged against the idea a while back because it seemed ill-advised and purposeless. But this is an ugly way for it to go down, and the allegations that the process was rigged on Apple’s behalf could make for some rotten PR if there’s anything to it.
Scratch one success story?