Georgia's teacher licensing agency has temporarily halted investigations of nearly 180 educators implicated in the Atlanta Public Schools' widespread cheating scandal.
The hearings suspension results from a request by Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard, who is concerned that the Georgia Professional Standards Commission's investigations could get in the way of his own criminal investigation into the scandal, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
"While our preference would be to continue our work without interruption, this is a reasonable request, and we will support it," PSC spokesperson Rick Eiserman said.
A spokesperson for Howard did not immediately respond to a request by the Associated Press for comment.
The hearings stem from one of the largest teacher cheating scandals in history. Over the summer, a report -- the product of a two-year investigation -- named 180 APS employees in nearly half of the district's 100 schools as involved in test tampering that involuted standardized test scores.
The commission will resume hearing cases in January and aims to finish hearing the 180 cases by May, WSB-TV reports.
In the first sanctions imposed in the Atlanta cheating scandal, the PSC decided to revoke the teaching licenses of eight teachers and three school administrators. The eight teachers can reapply for their licenses in two years, but the sanctions against the administrators are permanent.