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

Lawrenceville approves new assisted living/senior living facility
Lawrenceville approves new assisted living/senior living facility

The Lawrenceville City Council recently approved zoning changes and a permit request to build an assisted living/independent senior living facility on property that fronts the eastern side of Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road, adjacent to the southern side of the railroad right-of-way. The land is presently undeveloped and wooded. The applicant, Medical Partners...
Duluth accepting applications for youth police academy
Duluth accepting applications for youth police academy

Applications are being accepted now for the 2018 Duluth Youth Police Academy. The program is designed to educate middle and high school students that live in Duluth about the police department and how officers enforce local and state laws. The goal is to create and develop a relationship with students and give them an opportunity to learn about the...
Gardens police on lookout for stolen dog
Gardens police on lookout for stolen dog

Police are investigating a possible dognapping which took place Saturday at a Petco in Palm Beach Gardens. According to Palm Beach Gardens police, the owner of an 11-year-old Maltese mix named “Teddy” dropped him off for grooming services at the Petco on Legacy Avenue. At approximately 7:53 p.m., a white female with black hair...
Georgia’s first pediatric endocrinologist loved Broadway
Georgia’s first pediatric endocrinologist loved Broadway

For Georgia children living with a Type 1 diabetes diagnosis in the late ’70s and early ’80s, there was one doctor: Robert Schultz. He was the first pediatric endocrinologist in the state, and his practice quickly grew to the largest in the Southeast. “When he was started, there was nobody in the state, period,” his wife, Karen...
Washington state man, 73, stuck in car for 12 hours after crash
Washington state man, 73, stuck in car for 12 hours after crash

Washington State troopers and firefighters rescued a 73-year-old man who spent about 12 hours stuck in his car after driving off the road near Tiger Mountain, police said Saturday. Eastside Fire officials said the man was in the car overnight, and that when crews arrived, he appeared to be OK. However, he was taken to the hospital for an evaluation...
More Stories