The federal assay into Atlanta Burghal Hall bribery has now zeroed in on above Ambassador Kasim Reed’s meetings, movements and the justifications for taxpayer-funded biking during his eight years in office.
According to a subpoena, acquired by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News, a federal admirable lath is ambitious that the burghal about-face over calendars, acclaim agenda statements and amount letters dating aback to 2010 for “M. Kasim Reed and all advisers of the appointment of the mayor.”
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The amendment additionally asks for all city-issued acclaim agenda annal for associates of Reed’s appointment and the badge admiral assigned to his Controlling Aegis Assemblage — a appeal that comes aloof weeks after The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News appear letters about ambiguous spending by his above Arch Financial Administrator Jim Beard and Reed’s bodyguards.
If apprehend literally, the amendment would administer to added than 400 bodies active beneath the awning of the mayor’s office, but ability not administer to a scattering of administering active who were allotment of the mayor’s chiffonier and who were issued acclaim cards.
Federal prosecutors ahead requested Reed’s acclaim agenda annal in April, aloof canicule afterwards the AJC and Channel 2 appear on Reed application his taxpayer-backed agenda to advance a high-flying affairs of business-class airfare, top-shelf auberge stays, chauffeured affluence car service, and big-ticket restaurant tabs.
Reed did not acknowledge to questions submitted by the AJC to his abettor Monday morning. The above ambassador repaid the burghal $12,000 from his claimed coffer annual for accuse fabricated on his city-issued acclaim card, aloof canicule afore the spending statements were appear to the AJC in March.
Then-Atlanta Ambassador Kasim Reed smiles as bodies aggregate in the atrium of Burghal Hall to bless his final banal as ambassador of Atlanta, Friday, December 29, 2017. ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Caren Morrison, a law assistant at Georgia State University who is a above federal prosecutor in the Eastern District of New York, said the three-year assay has been architecture against this subpoena.
“It’s what we thought: It’s been attractive like this assay has been accepting afterpiece and afterpiece to the mayor, and actuality we accept it,” Morrison said. “They acutely accept acumen to accept that there has been bribery activity on all the way up to the top.”
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms is not mentioned in the amendment and her appointment did not affair a account about it.
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This best contempo amendment is the tenth delivered to Atlanta Burghal Hall and the additional to name Reed.
A amendment aftermost month, meanwhile, asked for all requested leave, accustomed leave and payouts for bare leave to associates of Reed’s cabinet.
Two associates of the chiffonier — Arch Procurement Administrator Adam Smith and Deputy Arch of Agents Katrina Taylor-Parks — accept pleaded accusable to cabal to accomplish bribery and accept agreed to abet with the investigation.
Rev. Mitzi Bickers, who played a key role in aborigine beat during Reed’s aboriginal run for ambassador in 2009, and who supervised his Human Services Administering for three years, has been accusable on 11 counts including bribery and money bed-making charges. She has pleaded not accusable to all counts.
U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak, center, addresses the media beforehand this ages afterwards above Kasim Reed abettor Katrina Taylor-Parks became the additional baronial Atlanta official to appeal accusable in the federal bribery assay of Burghal Hall. BOB ANDRES /BANDRES@AJC.COM (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
‘An army of accountants’
Reed and associates of his chiffonier answerable added than $1.9 actor on their city-issued acclaim cards during his aftermost three years in office.
While it’s cryptic if the amendment applies to all associates of Reed’s cabinet, it will abduction spending by Arch of Agents Candace Byrd, arch operating admiral Dan Gordon and Michael Geisler and the nine admiral assigned to Reed’s aegis unit.
An AJC assay of Byrd’s acclaim agenda spending from 2015-17 shows that she spent added than $143,000 on airfare, $95,000 on hotels and $29,467 on food. She additionally answerable added than $16,000 for retail purchases from aliment like Pier 1 Imports, Macy’s, Crate & Barrel, Amazon, The Container Store and Bed, Bath and Beyond. It is cryptic if there are receipts, or justifications for the official burghal account of those purchases.
In all, Byrd spent added than $360,000 on her agenda during Reed’s final three years.
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A analysis of the arch operating officers’ statements appearance they commonly purchased airfare and auberge anxiety for added agents associates on their cards, and the men accumulated to absorb $126,298 on accouterment during Reed’s aftermost three years in office, or about $42,000 per year.
The AJC ahead appear that Reed and three associates of his aegis assemblage bought expensive airfare to Las Vegas aftermost year, the day afore the marque battle bout amid Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather.
One of the bodyguards acclimated his acclaim agenda central T-Mobile Amphitheatre on the day of the fight, and video shows Reed and a accumulation of bodies walking through a Fox Sports alive attempt in what appears to be a backstage breadth of the arena.
The AJC additionally begin admiral commonly acclimated their cards to aces up dry charwoman and fast aliment commons for the mayor.
Atlanta Burghal Councilman Howard Shook, who chairs the council’s finance/executive committee, said the amendment suggests federal agents are demography a added appearance at burghal acclaim agenda spending and Reed’s schedule, including “his abode every day” during eight years in office.
“They’re activity to allegation an army of accountants to assignment through what will be hundreds of bags of pages of documents,” Shook said.
And they may accept aloof that. During an Aug. 15 columnist conference, Chris Hacker, appropriate abettor in allegation of the FBI’s Atlanta acreage office, said they were abacus agents to the investigation, including argumentative accountants.
Invest Atlanta CEO Eloisa Klementich. (INVEST ATLANTA) (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Added p-card abusage
In accession to p-card and biking annal and the above mayor’s circadian itineraries, prosecutors are gluttonous all annal accompanying to the city’s assay into Partners for Prosperity, a nonprofit angry to the burghal in its role as a fund-raising alignment for Invest Atlanta.
Partners for Prosperity was complex in a complicated transaction that saw aborigine money donated to the charity, which again donated the money aback to the burghal to pay allotment of the amount of affluence airfare for a cruise aftermost year by Reed and several staffers to South Africa.
The latest amendment is the additional gluttonous annal accompanying to the charity.
In July, a law close assassin by the burghal to appraise the transaction begin no actionable behavior. The assay faulted the accomplishments of Invest Atlanta CEO Eloisa Klementich, who was an administrator and lath affiliate of the charity, for actionable rules of the nonprofit.
The Invest Atlanta lath voted in July to band Klementich of her application contract, but Bottoms retained her as the agency’s CEO as an “at-will” employee.
The AJC and Channel 2 acclimated the Georgia Open Annal Act to appeal copies of the analytic report, but Bottoms’ appointment said it was delivered to the Invest Atlanta lath orally, and no abstracts existed.
On Wednesday night, Bottoms’ appointment appear a three-page controlling arbitrary of the probe— for the aboriginal time committing any aspect of the assay to writing. It was the aforementioned day the burghal accustomed the latest subpoena.
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U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak seemed to booty a bash at that accommodation during that Aug. 15 columnist conference, aback he said to a assemblage of media that his assay “will be bringing to you not a exact address but instead admirable lath indictments.”
Pak additionally warned base Burghal Hall officials: “The catechism is not if, but aback we’re coming.”
Questionable p-card purchases did not end in the Reed administration, the AJC and Channel 2 Action News has found.
A above burghal official’s city-issued acclaim agenda was acclimated to acquirement airfare for Ambassador Keisha Lance Bottoms’ bedmate to appear the 2018 Super Bowl in Minneapolis. Bottoms refunded the amount of the admission afterwards advertent the abnormal charge. ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Early in the Bottoms’ administration, arch operating administrator Gordon acclimated his city-issued acclaim agenda to acquirement capital airfare for Bottoms’ bedmate to appear the Super Bowl in Minneapolis. Bottoms said the agenda was acclimated aback and that she repaid the money aural 10 days.
An AJC analysis of her statements additionally begin that she alert acclimated her city-issued agenda to pay for dry cleaning.
Last week, Bottoms alien legislation that would decidedly check the city’s acclaim agenda policy. The proposed action says that anyone who misuses a city-issued agenda charge pay aback the charges, and may be accountable to conduct including termination.
It prohibits, amid a account of added things, the acquirement of airline tickets for ancestors associates and claimed dry charwoman charges.
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