Shandarrick Barnes, a former city of Atlanta employee once charged by at the local level with vandalizing the home of a key figure in the Atlanta City Hall bribery investigation, has been indicted for intimidating a witness in federal court.
Barnes is the third person to be charged by federal prosecutors in connection with the bribery probe, which has so far netted two guilty pleas by contractors that did business with the city.
Barnes pleaded not guilty during an arraignment before judge Chief Magistrate Judge Linda Walker.
Barnes previously was indicted by a grand jury in Fulton County on charges connected to a September 2015 vandalism incident at the home of contractor Elvin “E.R.” Mitchell Jr. Mitchell pleaded guilty to conspiring to pay more than $1 million in bribes to win city business and has agreed to testify against others.
In the incident, dead rats were left on Mitchell’s property and brick was thrown through Mitchell’s window with the words “Shut Up” and “ER Keep Your Mouth Shut” written on it.
At the time of Barnes’ arrest last November, a police report stated he admitted to damaging Mitchell’s home. But in June, the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office dropped the charges because federal prosecutors wouldn’t turn over key evidence in the case, including a purported taped confession.
Barnes formerly worked for Mitzi Bickers, a political consultant and pastor, who once worked for the city as director of human services. Bickers, who has not been charged, has business ties to Mitchell, and her records were subpoenaed from the city by federal prosecutors in connection with the bribery probe.
More information on the Barnes indictment is available on our subscriber site myAJC.com