City releases 1.4M pages of documents related to City Hall bribery case

by: Richard Belcher, Jodie Fleischer, Aaron Diamant Updated:

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ATLANTA - The city of Atlanta has produced more than a million documents today it says are related to a bribery scandal.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed held a news conference at 11:30 a.m. about the ongoing federal investigation into payoffs for city contracts.

He presented boxes containing 1.4 million pages of public records.

Channel 2 Action News has a team of investigative reporters going through every single page in the stacks of boxes.

Among the documents was a federal grand jury subpoena for records related to Mitzi Bickers, a political operative who helped Reed get elected and a former business partner of the contractor who admitted paying more than $1 million in bribes.

Channel 2 investigative reporter Richard Belcher got exclusive video of Rev. Mitzi Bickers as she left her church 11 days ago.

Belcher asked her for comment about whether she had been questioned by the FBI, but she refused to answer his questions.

Channel 2 Action News was the first to report that Bickers had been a business partner with confessed bribe conspirator E.R. Mitchell, but her role -- if any -- in the cash-for-contracts investigation was not entirely clear until Thursday.

“What I’m going to say is the documents that are in this room are the documents we provided to the Justice Department,” Reed said during a Thursday morning news conference.

The city gave Channel 2 Action News 400 boxes of documents Thursday, and by Belcher’s count, well over 200 of those boxes contain records related to Bickers dealings with the city -- records City Hall sent to a federal grand jury.

“I believe this is the first confirmation that Mitizi Bickers, the subject and perhaps target, of the federal investigation,” Reed told Belcher.

“Did the federal government ask specifically for documents about Mitizi Bickers?” Belcher asked Reed.

“I'm not going to talk about what the federal government asked for. I'm not going to discuss our conversations with the Justice Department,” Reed said.

Soon after the news conference ended Belcher discovered the subpoena for Bicker’s records -- issued last August -- three months before the subpoena for E.R. Mitchell's records.

Belcher also asked about long-time Atlanta procurement director Adam Smith, who has not responded to Belcher’s attempt to reach him.


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“Adam Smith works for the city of Atlanta. I do not know if he's been questioned by the FBI,” Reed said.

The mayor said he himself has not been questioned by the FBI.

Belcher asked the mayor if his brother had been questioned by the FBI.

“They haven't asked anything about my brother, Tracy Reed. Nor has my brother been questioned,” Reed said.

Belcher asked the mayor if he accepted any of the illicit cash.

Absolutely not, he responded, then added: “I'm just going to speak for me. I'm not going to speak for other folks.”