TIMELINE: Atlanta City Hall Investigation

ATLANTA — The ongoing probe into corruption at Atlanta City Hall has taken many twists and turns since the inaugural charges were filed. here is a timeline of some of the most crucial events that have unfolded so far. Jan. 17, 2017: well-known Atlanta structure company CEO Elvin R. “ E.R. ” Mitchell Jr. was charged with conspiring to pay more than $ 1 million in bribes to nameless individuals to help win city contracts. [ READ MORE ] Jan. 25, 2017: In the days after Mitchell was charged, Channel 2 Action News and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution learned of an apparent attack to intimidate Mitchell. In September 2015, after Mitchell started talking to the feds, person threw a brick through his populate room window with an ill message. dead rats besides were left on Mitchell ‘s property. Channel 2 and the AJC late learned Shandarrick Barnes, a erstwhile city of Atlanta employee, was arrested in November 2016 in joining with the incident. Barnes had connections to both Mitchell and Mitzi Bickers, a campaign adviser who helped Kasim Reed win the mayor ‘s race in 2009. Bickers would late serve as the city ‘s director of human services from 2010 to 2013. Barnes former pleaded guilty to union charges of interfering with a federal witness. [ READ MORE ]

Jan. 25, 2017: E. R. Mitchell pleads guilty, admitted to paying bribes totaling over $ 1 million over a period of years. [ READ MORE ] Jan. 26, 2017: Then-Mayor Kasim Reed distances himself from former staff member, Mitzi Bickers, who had connections to the bribery scandal. On a city ethics document filed by Bickers, she described herself as directly reporting to Mayor Reed. Reed maintained that was not true. Channel 2 Action news had uncovered a associate between an attempt to silence E.R. Mitchell, who admitted paying the bribe, and Bickers, Reed ‘s former Human Services director. [ READ MORE ] Feb. 1, 2017: The city announces it will release records pertaining to contracts at the kernel of the City Hall bribery scandal. The AJC and Channel 2 Action News sought contracts, payments, emails and other routine city documents pertaining to E.R. Mitchell, his associates, and their companies, and received a across-the-board abnegation of that information saying the ongoing federal probe allowed them an exemption under Georgia ‘s open records jurisprudence. legal experts told the AJC the city ‘s stance violated state law. [ READ MORE ] Feb. 2, 2017: Through her divorce lawyer, Marjorie Mitchell told Channel 2 Action News and the AJC that she ‘s exposed records showing her conserve, E.R. Mitchell, misrepresented his wife ‘s function in his companies and her know in the construction industry on documents he filed with the city. Marjorie Mitchell said she had no idea her husband used her name to win contracts or to get certified as a female minority business owner for bonus points in the wish action with multiple governments, including Fulton County and Jackson, Mississippi. [ READ MORE ] Feb. 8, 2017: Federal prosecutors charge Charles P. Richards Jr. with conspiracy to commit bribery in order to obtain city of Atlanta contracts. From 2010 to August 2015, Richards was alleged to have paid $ 185,000 in bribes in the belief that some of the money would be paid to nameless city officials, prosecutors alleged. [ READ MORE ] Feb. 9, 2017: The city of Atlanta releases more than 1.4 million pages of populace records it said were related to the bribery scandal. Among the documents we discovered a subpoena for political secret agent Mitzi Bickers. [ READ MORE ] Feb. 16, 2017: Charles P. Richards Jr. pleads guilty for paying at least $ 185,000 in bribes, which federal prosecutors said produced millions of dollars in city of Atlanta contracts. [ READ MORE ] Feb. 21, 2017: Chief Procurement Officer Adam Smith was fired the lapp day union agents seized a city owned-computer and a city-owned phone from his agency. Throughout his 14-year career with the city, Smith ran an office that oversees hundreds of millions of dollars in spend .He was brought in as procurement conductor by then-mayor Shirley Franklin in 2003 and kept on by Reed. [ READ MORE ] Feb. 23, 2017: A whistle blower from Mississippi tells Channel 2 Action News and the AJC about being interviewed by federal investigators on the activities of Atlanta political operative Mitzi Bickers and current Atlanta Watershed Commissioner Kishia Powell, who previously served as public works director in Jackson, Miss. Bickers formed a Mississippi party in 2015, with another discipline of the Atlanta bribery case, Keyla Jackson. They went on to win partially of a $ 75 million hotel construction undertaking in business district Jackson. The whistle blower alleged Bickers wanted her help to win contracts and that Powell tried to steer bids to Bickers ‘ company, an allegation Powell denies. Mitchell besides sought work in Mississippi, records showed. [ READ MORE ] Feb. 24, 2017: Channel 2 Action News and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution obtain a federal subpoena that showed prosecutors sought emails, ethics disclosures and early records tied to Adam Smith since Jan. 1, 2014. [ READ MORE ] April 11, 2017: A early city proletarian has filed a lawsuit against the city accusing them of buying city vehicles used for Mayor Kasim Reed with federal funds set aside for patrol cars. [ READ MORE ] May 25, 2017: Emails obtained by Channel 2 Action News and the AJC show Bickers, who had not been publicly identified as a target of the probe, hired a criminal refutation team that sought to justify the sources of her income to federal prosecutors. [ READ MORE ] July 13, 2017: The AJC obtained bank records showing Mitchell and companies he controlled paid Bickers and her companies more than $ 1.6 million over three years during the time menstruation of the federal investigation, including payments that corresponded with ones Mitchell admitted to making in his guilty supplication. The report for the first time linked Bickers to the alleged bribery scheme. [ READ MORE ] Aug. 24, 2017: In the heating system of the race to succeed Reed as mayor, City Council President Ceasar Mitchell, then one of the top candidates, called on Reed and council colleagues to support a moratorium on the approval of city contracts that start in the following class to give the future council and mayor their say-so. Mitchell said a pause was called for given the examination of the federal probe. The call triggered a fiery response from Reed. Sept. 26, 2017: Adam Smith pleads guilty to a conspiracy charge in the federal bribery case. Prosecutors said Smith accepted more than $ 30,000 in payoffs from an nameless company that did business with the city. [ READ MORE ] Sept. 29, 2017: It was learned that federal agents in September raided the offices of the PRAD Group, a longtime city of Atlanta contractor. Oct. 5, 2017: Then-Mayor Kasim Reed sits down with Channel 2 Action News and says he is not involved in any direction with the federal bribery investigation at City Hall. [ READ MORE ] Oct. 10, 2017: Contractor E.R. Mitchell is sentenced to five years in prison and Charles Richards sentenced to more than two years in prison after Mitchell pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery and money laundering, and Richards pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery. [ READ MORE ] Jan. 16, 2018: Adam Smith sentenced to a 27 months in imprison. Prosecutors said Smith secretly recorded a number of conversations on his own and later recorded more at the direction of federal authorities. He admitted to taking at least $ 44,000 in bribes. [ READ MORE ] March 8, 2018: Channel 2 Action News obtains text messages that reveal an campaign by then-Mayor Kasim Reed ‘s press secretary to delay releasing potentially embarrassing data about amateur water bills by Atlanta city officials, and when finally released, to make it ampere unmanageable as potential to understand. [ READ MORE ] March 9, 2018: The AJC reveals legal bills provided by the city to the newspaper the former year in response to an open records request about the federal probe were n’t actual records. [ READ MORE] March 13, 2018: The state lawyer general ‘s office asks the GBI to open an probe into possible violations of the state open records law by the compress office of then-Mayor Kasim Reed. [ READ MORE ] April 4, 2018: The AJC and Channel 2 uncover records showing a city-tied nonprofit called Partners for Prosperity paid $ 40,000 to cover a fortune of luxury airfare for Reed and respective city officials to fly to South Africa for a controversial economic growth mission. Reed had promised “ nongovernmental ” sources would pay for the trip. But the AJC/Channel 2 report revealed the money had originated with the city, was donated to the nonprofit organization and then returned to the city a few months subsequently. [ WATCH STORY ] April 5, 2018: Mitzi Bickers pleads not guilty to the 11-count indictment on charges that she took $ 2 million in bribes to steer city of Atlanta contracts to at least two contractors from 2010 to 2015. [ READ MORE ]

April 9, 2018: Shandarrick Barnes, the former adjutant to Bickers, is sentenced to 37 months in prison after admitting to conspiring to intimidate Mitchell by throwing a brick through the contractor ‘s window after Mitchell started cooperating with the feds. [ WATCH STORY ] April 11, 2018: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News filed a complaint Wednesday with Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr alleging “ a culture of political hindrance ” with assailable records requests at Atlanta City Hall, and requesting mediation to implement reforms for perennial violations of submit police. [ READ MORE ] April 17, 2018: Channel 2 Action News obtains two federal subpoenas seeking documents from City Hall. One focuses on Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed ‘s deputy foreman of staff and a man convicted of wire imposter. The other subpoena focuses on city credit cards, including one used by Reed. The second requirement for records besides sought information related to Partners for Prosperity. [ READ MORE ] April 19, 2018: The Invest Atlanta board votes unanimously to create an ad hoc committee to perform an autonomous inspection of a $ 40,000 transaction between the city and its nonprofit organization fund-raise arm, Partners For Prosperity. The transaction was named in a union subpoena delivered to the city earlier in the calendar month in relation to the U.S. Attorney ‘s agency widen corruption probe at Atlanta City Hall. [ READ MORE ] April 25, 2018: The Georgia Bureau of Investigation pays surprise visit to Atlanta City Hall in sexual intercourse to the ongoing probe into overt records requests. [ READ MORE ] April 26, 2018: Channel 2 Action News and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution obtain textbook from a personal smartphone of the top spokeswoman for former Mayor Kasim Reed. They show the spokeswoman tried to compel a senior city official to delay production of public records, repeatedly telling him to thwart a city lawyer ‘s advice to comply with an open records request and tied issuing a veiled threat to involve Reed. [ READ MORE ] May 14, 2018: A Channel 2 Action News/Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation receive a 10-point subpoena — dated Sept. 9, 2016, and kept from the populace with former-Mayor Kasim Reed ‘s cognition — included demands from federal prosecutors for data about lucrative construction and concessions contracts at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport ; vendors with close political ties to Reed ; and fiscal records for three members of his cabinet. [ READ MORE ] July 19, 2018: The circuit board of Invest Atlanta votes to reprimand CEO Eloisa Klementich and strip her of her compress following an investigation into Partners for Prosperity. Klementich, who kept her problem as an “ at-will employee, ” was a director of the city-tied jacob’s ladder involved in a complicate transaction used to pay off a helping of luxury airfare to South Africa for former Mayor Reed and city officials in 2017. Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said the city review found no criminal violations in the matter, which had attracted the attention of federal investigators. [ READ MORE ] July 23, 2018: A new subpoena issued in the federal corruption probe into Atlanta City Hall shows that federal authorities sought records related to all requests and approvals for leave for every extremity of early Mayor Kasim Reed ‘s cabinet. [ READ MORE ] Aug. 2, 2018: Records obtained by the AJC and Channel 2 show early Mayor Reed reached secret terms in a settlement with Miguel Southwell, the airport general coach he fired in 2016, agreeing to pay Southwell $ 147,000 more than was disclosed to the City Council and the public. After his open fire, Southwell had accused the mayor of improprieties involving contracts at the airport. The accusations led to the September 2016 subpoena that the Reed administration late hide from the populace. [ READ MORE ] Aug. 8, 2018: Katrina Taylor-Parks, who served as deputy chief of staff to former Mayor Kasim Reed, was charged with accepting bribes in 2013 from an unidentified city seller. The AJC was able to identify the seller as a company led by Paul Marshall, a Marietta man who has pleaded guilty to wire fraud in an unrelated lawsuit. [ READ MORE ] Aug. 15, 2018: Katrina Taylor-Parks pleads guilty in federal court for accepting $ 4,000 in bribes. [ READ MORE ] Aug. 28, 2018: Channel 2 Action News and our fact-finding partners at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and AJC .com obtain a federal distinguished jury subpoena seeking records of Mayor Kasim Reed and his office ‘s credit card spend and travel for the entirety of his two terms in office. The subpoena follows report by the AJC and Channel 2 that showed Reed and members of his cabinet spent hundreds of thousands of dollars from 2015 to 2017 on change of location and early items with city “ p-cards. ” [ READ MORE ] Sept. 18, 2018: The Atlanta City Council approves an ordination entail to reform how the city responds to requests made under the Georgia Open Records Act. The legislation creates the post of transparency officeholder to ensure city complaisance with the Open Records Act, which gives the populace the right to access to government documents and records. [ READ MORE ] Oct. 3, 2018: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News agreed to drop their claims against the city of Atlanta for what the media organizations described as “ systemic violations ” of the Georgia Open Records Act. Under the agreement, the city will work with the news outlets over the future 90 days in drafting a comprehensive examination policy that will govern how the city responds to populace records requests. [ READ MORE ] Oct. 24, 2018: A federal grand jury adds a twelfth charge against Mitzi Bickers in an update indictment. Prosecutors allege Bickers tried in 2014 and 2015 to win contracts in Jackson by paying for parties, food, airline flights, hotels, chauffeured car services, entertainment, fundraisers and campaign services for newly elected Mayor Tony Yarber and early Jackson city officials. [ READ MORE ] Jan. 14, 2019: Katrina Taylor-Parks, the deputy foreman of staff for erstwhile Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, was scheduled to be sentenced in federal woo to closely to two years in prison, but as U.S. District Court Judge Steve Jones announced her conviction, Taylor-Parks collapsed to the shock. She was taken by ambulance to the hospital. [ READ MORE ] Jan. 29, 2019: Katrina Taylor-Parks formally sentenced to 21 months in federal prison for accepting about $ 15,000 deserving of bribes while working in Mayor Kasim Reed ‘s administration. [ READ MORE ] Feb. 11, 2019: The wardrobe secretary for former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, Jenna Garland, has been served two condemnable citations for violating Georgia ‘s Open Records Act. These are the first condemnable charges filed under the act in Georgia. [ READ MORE ] Mar. 6, 2019: Federal prosecutors have charged Jeff Jafari, a former executive vice president of PRAD Group, on charges of bribery, witness tamper and tax evasion in the latest spin in the ongoing Atlanta City Hall corruption scandal. [ READ MORE ] Mar. 31, 2019: A iron repository for early Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanor counts alleging she obstructed a request by Channel 2 Action News for public records. Jenna Garland entered her supplication via a file and waived her initial court appearance. [ READ MORE ] June 11, 2019: Channel 2 Action News and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution have learned federal authorities are zeroing in on another one of Kasim Reed ‘s former top aides at Atlanta ‘s City Hall. A grand jury subpoena delivered to the city last week calls for years of records related to Jim Beard, who served as Reed ‘s chief fiscal officer and remained for respective months under Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. [ READ MORE ] Sept. 4, 2019: Larry Scott pleads guilty to wire imposter and filing false tax returns. Scott ran a critical separate of the city ‘s procurement operation, a department that ‘s been cardinal to the federal probe. Scott resigned suddenly last week after a visit from the FBI. Scott ‘s mention was not previously mentioned in early stages of the Atlanta corruption probe. [ READ MORE ] Oct. 10, 2019: A new subpoena was issued asking for any fiscal disclosures and records related to former Watershed Commissioner Jo Ann Macrina, and besides approvals for work-related locomotion in 2016. Macrina was let go in May 2016 because of a number of management missteps and questionable external travel, sources told Channel 2 Action News at the time. [ READ MORE ]

June 19, 2020: A federal august jury indicted former City of Atlanta Watershed Management Director Jo Ann Macrina on multiple counts of bribery, conspiring to bribe and tax evasion. The distinguished jury besides indicted Jeff Jafari on newfangled bribery charges. Prosecutors say Jafari bribed Macrina in exchange for city business and Macrina manipulated the seller choice process. [ READ MORE ] Sept. 16, 2020 : A federal august jury indicted erstwhile Atlanta foreman fiscal officer Jim Beard on eight charges including wire imposter, larceny from government, self-control of machine guns, making a false statement and obstructing union tax laws. [ READ MORE ] Cox Media Group

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