Man indicted in alleged intimidation of Atlanta bribery figure

A former city of Atlanta employee once charged by at the local level with vandalizing the home of a key figure in the Atlanta City Hall bribery investigation, has been indicted on charges alleging he tried to intimidate federal witness in a 2015 incident.

Shandarrick Barnes is the third person to be charged by federal prosecutors in connection with the bribery probe, which has so far netted two guilty pleas by contractors who did business with the city.

Barnes pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to five counts related to an alleged September 2015 incident involving dead rats and a brick at the home of contractor Elvin “E.R.” Mitchell Jr. Barnes made his initial appearance and plea before Chief Magistrate Judge Linda Walker.

The counts in the grand jury indictment included charges he attempted to harass, threaten and retaliate against a person, whose initials are E.M., who was attempting to inform law enforcement about criminal matters. One charge also related to property damage.

Barnes remained in custody after the hearing and awaits a bond hearing in the coming days.

Barnes entered court with his legs and hands shackled. He wore a brown shirt and blue shorts. He told a judge he did not have the money to afford an attorney and requested one be appointed by the court.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kurt Erskine said the government will move to keep Barnes in custody.

Barnes previously was indicted by a grand jury in Fulton County on charges connected to alleged vandalism. Mitchell pleaded guilty in January to conspiring to pay more than $1 million in bribes to win city business and has agreed to testify against others.

Contractor Charles P. Richards Jr. pleaded guilty in February on similiar charges in relation to the federal investigation.

In the Barnes incident, dead rats were left on Mitchell’s property and brick was thrown through Mitchell’s window with the words “Shut Up” and “ER Keep Your Mouth Shut” written on it.

Mitchell told police at the time he was working with federal authorities on a case.

At the time of Barnes’ arrest last November, a police report stated he admitted to damaging Mitchell’s home. But in June, the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office dropped the charges because federal prosecutors wouldn’t turn over key evidence in the case, including a purported taped confession.

Barnes formerly worked for Mitzi Bickers, a political consultant and pastor, who once worked for the city as director of human services. Bickers, who has not been charged, has business ties to Mitchell. Her records were subpoenaed from the city by federal prosecutors in connection with the bribery probe.

Related coverage

Atlanta overlooked RICO conviction in hiring of bribery figure

Figure in Atlanta bribery probe sought to justify income to feds

Atlanta bribery figure paid $1.6 million to former City Hall operative

AJC Business reporter J. Scott Trubey keeps you updated on the latest news about economic development and commercial real estate in metro Atlanta and beyond. You'll find more on, including these stories:

Never miss a minute of what's happening in local business news. Subscribe to


Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

Utah missionaries assemble 350,000 meals for needy
Utah missionaries assemble 350,000 meals for needy

Missionaries in Provo wore red and blue hairnets, sang songs and rang cowbells as they assembled more than 350,000 Thanksgiving meals to donate to the Utah Food Bank, The Deseret News reported. The ingredients to make the apple pie oats kits -- Scottish oats, puffed rice, dehydrated apple bits and nutmeg -- were contributed by the The Church of...
Texas state trooper killed during traffic stop
Texas state trooper killed during traffic stop

A Texas state trooper was shot and killed during a traffic stop on Thursday, WFAA reported. Damon Allen, 41, was a 15-year veteran of the Texas Highway Patrol. He was shot and killed at about 4 p.m. on Interstate 45 just south of Fairfield, WFAA reported.  The Texas Department of Public Safety said Allen had pulled over the suspect's vehicle...
Troopers: Naked couple crashes car while having sex; baby was in back seat
Troopers: Naked couple crashes car while having sex; baby was in back seat

A naked couple, having sex in their car while their baby was in the back seat, crashed while driving, the Washington State Patrol said. The man was driving on Highway 7 near La Grande in Pierce County, naked and having sex with a woman who also was naked, when he missed a curve, went off the road and struck a tree, State Patrol spokeswoman Brooke...
Sheriff: Michigan deputy run down by car during police pursuit
Sheriff: Michigan deputy run down by car during police pursuit

A Michigan deputy with 22 years of experience was killed early Thursday morning when he was hit by a man driving a vehicle who was fleeing police, the Detroit Free Press reported. Deputy Eric Overall, 50, died when he was “deliberately ran down” after putting down “stop sticks” to slow down the suspect’s vehicle...
Sex scandals prompt new response: Consequences
Sex scandals prompt new response: Consequences

The avalanche of sexual harassment stories are not just creating headlines. It’s causing change. One after another, powerful men - Hollywood producers, high-profile reporters, elected officials - are toppling in this uproar of national shaming. Previously untouchable men are being held accountable in very public and humiliating ways. And that&rsquo...
More Stories