Atlanta purchasing chief Adam Smith ordered to report to N.C. prison


Adam Smith, who for 14 years was Atlanta’s top purchasing officer, has been ordered to report to a North Carolina federal prison to begin serving a 27-month sentence for his role in a City Hall bribery scheme.

Smith, a graduate of Yale, Morehouse and Georgetown Law School, must report to the Federal Medical Center Butner on Wednesday. The facility, for inmates with special medical needs, is located about 25 miles northwest of Raleigh and holds about 900 male inmates.

It’s unclear why Smith was ordered to a medical facility. He had been recommended for a prison in Alabama after his February sentencing.

Smith was given a 40-percent reduction in his sentence for cooperating with the on-going investigation, after pleading guilty in September 2017 to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery.

Federal prosecutors justified the reduction in a January memorandum to the court, which revealed for the first time that Smith and made secret recordings to assist the U.S. Attorney’s Office with its case.

“…Smith provided the United States with several audio files containing recorded conversations between Smith and others; Smith recorded conversations at the request and direction of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Smith debriefed with and provided information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation on multiple occasions,” the Justice Department memo says.

During his tenure with the city, Smith oversaw more than a billion dollars worth of city expenditures, according to his sentencing memorandum. He admitted to taking at least $30,000 in bribe payments from a city vendor between 2015 and January 2017.

Smith was fired Feb. 21, 2017 by Mayor Kasim Reed, just before FBI agents confiscated his city-issued computer and cell phone from his City Hall office.

The vendor, who The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has previously identified as Jeff Jafari, has been awarded several multi-million dollar city contracts at the airport and for the city’s watershed department.

Jafari has not been charged in the investigation, although his Sandy Springs’ office was raided by the FBI just days after Smith pleaded.

More than 70 people wrote letters in support of Smith before his sentencing.

The investigation into City Hall bribery burst into the public view more than a year ago, when construction contractor Elvin “E.R.” Mitchell Jr. was charged with conspiracy to commit bribery and money laundering in January 2017. He admitted to paying more than $1 million over several years.

Contractor Charles P. Richards Jr. has also pleaded guilty, agreed to cooperate and has been sentenced to prison for paying more than $193,000 in bribes.

Earlier this month, prosecutors unsealed an 11-count indictment against Rev. Mitzi Bickers, a former city employee and political operative. Mitchell and Richards made their bribe payments to Bickers, who prosecutors say was able to manipulate the city’s contracting system and steer $17 million in city work to the contractors.

Prosecutors have since said that the case against Smith involves a different set of facts than the cases against Mitchell, Richards and Bickers.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Clayton County Public Schools to participate in national GEAR UP week
Clayton County Public Schools to participate in national GEAR UP week

​Clayton County Public Schools, as well as members of the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program (GEAR UP) Clayton Cohort will participate in 2018 National GEAR UP Week through Sept. 29, according to a press release. Established in 1999, GEAR UP is a college access program that provides students and families with support...
Florida deputy fatally shoots wife, then himself with kids in home 
Florida deputy fatally shoots wife, then himself with kids in home 

A Florida sheriff’s deputy fatally shot his wife Monday morning before shooting himself in an apparent murder-suicide, the Tampa Bay Times reported. >> Read more trending news  Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said four children were in the home at time of the shooting. He said the deputy, whose name has not been released, worked...
Cancelled again; RaceTrac not returning to Braselton for approval
Cancelled again; RaceTrac not returning to Braselton for approval

Braselton officials released notice Friday afternoon, that RaceTrac will not be returning to the Planning Commission Sept. 24 or the City Council on Oct. 4 for a conditional use permit and zoning changes to allow them to build a Convenience Store/Gas Station at the SW corner of the Thompson Mill Road/SR 211 intersection. RaceTrac is seeking the removal...
Canton mayor’s veto of drinking measure overridden
Canton mayor’s veto of drinking measure overridden

After sometimes heated statements by residents during a long public comment period, the Canton City Council voted 5-1 to override Mayor Gene Hobgood’s veto of an ordinance creating a downtown restaurant district where alcoholic beverages could be consumed outdoors. Before the vote, Hobgood reiterated his objections that the measure was rushed...
Milton sets meetings on country club plans
Milton sets meetings on country club plans

The city of Milton has scheduled a series of community meetings in October and November to gather public comment for the long-term master plan for the former Milton Country Club, more than 130 acres of open space acquired by the city in February. “Now that summer is over and Milton households are getting back to a normal schedule, the community...
More Stories