MACON, Ga. — In the final rounds of fighting a $7 million racketeering lawsuit, former Bibb School Supt. Romain Dallemand has said, in effect, "No más."
According to court records, Dallemand has notified federal Judge Marc Treadwell that he won't be there if the lawsuit goes to trial next month because he's serving time for tax evasion at a federal prison in Florida.
Dallemand is representing himself in the federal racketeering lawsuit.
According to court documents, he told the judge he can't fight the lawsuit any more and he's anxious to settle the case.
In May, he wrote to Treadwell that he "has been financially ruined as a result of the criminal charges against him and has no resources available to continue to fight this litigation."
Dallemand's statement invited other lawyers in the case to call him at the federal prison camp in Pensacola, Fla. to make arrangements.
Last week, Treadwell updated other lawyers in the case, writing that Dallemand doesn't plan to attend and "is content to have judgment entered against him."
"I know of no reason why a defendant in a civil case must appear for trial. Of course, the consequence of that would almost necessarily be that a judgment would be entered against him," Treadwell wrote. "Whatever arrangements may be worked out among you, if Dr. Dallemand makes clear that he does not wish to appear for trial, I will not compel him to do so. Of course, his position also suggests that a trial may not be necessary, except, perhaps on the issue of damages."
The Bibb school system's lawsuit is scheduled to go to trial Aug. 12 at U.S. District Court in Macon.
On Tuesday, Treadwell announced that Dallemand is excused from attending the trial. He also withdrew an order asking the federal prison system to allow Dallemand to attend.
Dallemand was Bibb County's school superintendent from 2011 to 2013. He resigned in February 2013, just weeks after the school board granted him a new contract.
In December 2016, Bibb County Schools accused Dallemand and more than a dozen others of defrauding the district of more than $7 million in technology deals.
The lawsuit argues that Dallemand pushed through a purchase for computers and software by violating school procedures and bidding laws and deceived other school officials about what he was doing.
The district accuses Dallemand, Macon businessmen Cliffard Whitby, Isaac Culver, Dave Carty and others as operating as a racketeering-corrupt organization.
Court records list more than 30 lawyers involved and, so far, nearly 400 documents filed in the case, including motions, notices, orders, letters and memos.
The lawsuit also names several Macon companies and one defendant who has died -- former school district IT director Tom Tourand.
But the district has already reached settlements with Whitby, Culver, Carty and others and dropped them from the lawsuit.
Two years ago, Dallemand pleaded guilty to tax evasion at a federal court in Florida, admitting that he took bribes while serving as Bibb's school superintendent and failing to report that money to the IRS.
He also agreed to testify against Whitby, Culver and Carty in federal corruption trials.