Martha Woodall and Susan Snyder

Inquirer Staff Writers

State Rep. Dwight Evans and Robert L. Archie Jr., former chairman of the Philadelphia School Reform Commission, waged a relentless Godfather-style campaign to ensure that a New Jersey nonprofit would win a contract to manage Martin Luther King High School and, when that failed, pressured the Atlanta company that won the contract to back out.

A stunning report released Thursday by the city’s chief integrity officer, Joan Markman, reveals the behind-the-scenes maneuvers by Evans and Archie in a tug-of-war with the School District in March and April over who would run King.

Drawing on e-mails, documents, and interviews with more than 30 people who were either involved or witnessed the power struggle, the report provides a glimpse into backroom politics. According to the report, Archie, in one closed-door meeting, told an official from the Atlanta educational company that “this is Philadelphia and suggested that things are different here.”


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