AJC Watchdog: First Alert

Keeping watch on those who hold the public trust and money

Latest Atlanta bribery news tough to interpret, former prosecutor says

The FBI's seizure of a computer from the office of Atlanta's chief procurement officer, shortly after the officer was fired on Tuesday, doesn't necessarily mean that Adam Smith is implicated in the government's bribery investigation, says a former prosecutor.

“At this point you don’t know that he’s a target,” says Zahra S. Karinshak, a partner at Krevolin & Horst and a former federal prosecutor in Atlanta. “He might just be the guy who has all the papers.”

Smith was led from City Hall Tuesday shortly before FBI agents acted on a subpoena for Smith's computer and a phone, according to Channel 2 Action News.

The Morehouse graduate had been chief procurement officer for the city since 2003, managing hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts, before he was summarily fired Tuesday.

The development came amidst a wide-ranging probe of city contracting, which has so far netted two guilty pleas from contractors. Elvin "E.R." Mitchell and Charles Richards Jr. have pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit bribery and are scheduled for sentencing April 28.

Read the latest developments on myAJC.com.

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About the Author

Ken Foskett has been an AJC reporter and editor since 1989 and is the Senior Editor/Investigations.