Atlanta bribery probe: Feds seek Bickers records from Clayton County


The federal investigation into Atlanta City Hall bribery has crept into Clayton County, where one of the central figures in the probe works for the Sheriff Victor Hill’s office as a chaplain.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office issued a Feb. 27 subpoena to the Clayton County Attorney’s Office, demanding Rev. Mitzi Bicker’s personnel, employment and disciplinary history; all emails she sent and received since 2016; all emails about Bickers; and documentation of her salary, pension, direct deposits, bonuses, pay raises, reimbursements and travel expenses.

The deadline for delivery of those documents was March 28. That is the same day the city of Atlanta had to deliver a trove of documents about Adam Smith, the city’s former procurement chief who was fired in February. Federal agents seized Smith’s work phone and computer.

Bickers is a central figure in the probe because prosecutors had previously demanded information about her from the city of Atlanta, where she worked for Mayor Kasim Reed’s administration after helping him win election in 2009.

Bickers has not been charged or named as a suspect in the Atlanta bribery investigation, but it’s clear that prosecutors requested the information from Clayton County in relation to that probe, because it was delivered to the same federal grand jury that has been considering that bribery case since at least September.

“At some point in the future, it may be necessary to offer some or all of the documents as evidence in a federal trial,” the Clayton County subpoena says.

In August, federal prosecutors issued a subpoena to the Atlanta City Attorney’s Office, requesting Bicker’s financial and email records and other records, along with her work products as an employee and a consultant.

Bickersplayed a critical role in the get-out-the-vote role effort for Kasim Reed’s 2009 mayoral campaign, then worked as his human services director from 2010 to 2013. Her consulting company also worked for Hill’s 2012 campaign for Clayton Sheriff.

Efforts to reach Bickers Friday were unsuccessful, but she has previously told her congregation that her name is being raised in conjunction with the investigation because of politics.

Contractors Elvin “E.R.” Mitchell Jr. and Charles P. Richards Jr. pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery in January, admitting that they gave more than $1 million to an unnamed person with the belief that a portion of the money would be given to city officials with influence over contracting.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has previously identified more than $7.3 million in emergency contracts awarded to Mitchell’s company, mostly for emergency snow removal in 2011 and 2014.

Richards’ company was awarded at least $10 million in city contracts during the bribery scheme, often using Mitchell’s company as a minority subcontractor. One lucrative sidewalk contract that was amended more than 20 times, including 14 times in which it added new work and new funding.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to comment on the subpoenas, and a spokeswoman for the Clayton Sheriff’s Office did not respond to an email seeking comment.



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