Atlanta City Hall shakeup: Mayor asks entire cabinet to resign

ATLANTA — Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms on Monday told her cabinet members that she wants their resignations by the end of the day.

A city official said Bottoms told her cabinet — a group that includes 35 top city officials — that she will decide by the end of the week whose resignations she will accept and whose she will decline.

That official, who did not wish to be identified, was among those asked to resign.

Bottoms won a narrow victory in the Dec. 5 runoff against Mary Norwood, partly because former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed endorsed her.


After Bottoms took office in January, she informed all of Reed's former staff members that they could remain on the job for roughly 90 days while she got to know them better.

That period is now over.

It’s unclear if Bottoms has already made decisions about who she will retain, but there were hints.

On Monday, the city-issued cellphone of communications director Anne Torres appeared to no longer be in service. A message said the number had been “changed, disconnected or no longer working.”

City Councilman Howard Shook said he was surprised by the decision.

"It's startling. I don't think anyone really expected to walk into this building and hear that today," he said.

Shook said they all anticipated Bottoms would make changes, as past mayors have done. But he says previous mayors haven't done it this quickly and potentially all at once.

"I think we all knew that at some point there was going to be an evaluation. I kind of expected it would be on a case-by-case basis instead of this sort of all-or-nothing shot," Shook said.

Shook says City Council is on its spring break and won't be able to deal with the potential nominations of new department heads until the council members return.

"Hopefully, if there are changes to be made, they'll be quick," he said.

There is no word as to whether Bottoms' decision was in response to the indictment of a former city official on bribery charges or the recent cyberattack on city computers.

Bottoms announced that she will hold a news conference about the changes Tuesday at 1 p.m. Watch it LIVE on and the WSB-TV Facebook page.