The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News have obtained a new federal grand jury subpoena seeking records of Mayor Kasim Reed and his office’s credit card spending and travel for the entirety of his two terms in office.
The subpoena seeks Reed’s daily calendar covering his eight years in office, as well as the purchasing card expense records for the mayor’s office and all members of the mayor’s security detail during that time. The grand jury subpoena follows reports by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News that showed Reed and his security detail used their city-issued credit cards or “p-cards” for questionable expenses, including expensive meals, hotel rooms, limo rides and luxury airfare during Reed’s final three years in office.
Reed repaid taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars for expenditures made while he was mayor, including some that followed demands for records by the AJC and Channel 2.
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The subpoena demands records for five years beyond the AJC/Channel 2 examination and is the clearest example yet that Reed and members of his office are under scrutiny in the long-running federal investigation of City Hall corruption.
Among the records sought for city credit card use are: account statements; card applications; receipts and other supporting documentation for purchases; reimbursement records; invoices; training materials and user guidelines for government purchasing cards; signed agreements for cardholders; and any correspondence related to purchasing card use.
The AJC/Channel 2 investigation of city credit card use showed that the Executive Protection Unit, the police unit that provides security to the mayor, used p-cards issued to them to pay for airfare for Reed’s family, flights to Las Vegas on the weekend of a marquee boxing match, and one-night hotel room stays in Atlanta. The charges also included meals for the mayor and to pay for Reed’s dry cleaning.
The AJC/Channel 2 investigation showed Reed’s then-chief financial officer, Jim Beard, also made questionable expenditures, including about $10,000 on a luxury hotel room in Paris for a trip, he said, was for the purpose of observing street furniture.
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The subpoena is the latest of at least 10 known subpoenas to City Hall related to the corruption probe that has so far led to charges against six people, and guilty pleas by five individuals, including three former city officials.
In addition to p-card and travel records and the former mayor’s daily itinerary, prosecutors are seeking all records related to the city’s investigation into Partners for Prosperity, a city-tied nonprofit. The charity was involved in a complicated transaction that saw taxpayer money donated to the charity, which then donated the money back to the city to cover part of the cost of luxury airfare for a trip by Reed and several staffers to South Africa.
The subpoena is the second by prosecutors to seek records related to the charity.