Atlanta mayor distances himself from staffer with connection to bribery scandal

ATLANTA — When Channel 2's Dave Huddleston questioned Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed at an event on Thursday the mayor reiterated that the city has been helping with the federal investigation.

“We’re going to continue to cooperate and follow the facts wherever they go,” said Reed.

On Wednesday, Channel 2 investigative reporter Jodie Fleischer uncovered a link between an effort to silence the construction CEO who admitted paying the bribes, and Reed's former Human Services director, Mitzi Bickers.

“I have very little comment other than to say Rev. Bickers worked for the city from 2010 to 2013 and she ran our human services department. Beyond that, I don’t have very much more to say. She was not a direct report to my office. She did report to the chief of staff,” said Reed.


On a city ethics document filed by Bickers, she described herself as directly reporting to Mayor Reed.

“The ethics document is incorrect. If you check with the city’s human resources officer, I have two direct reports: chief of staff of the city of Atlanta, and the chief operating officer of the city report to me,” said Reed.

The city’s organizational chart shows Bickers reporting to the mayor’s chief of staff, who reported to the mayor.

This week the city also denied all pending open records requests related to E. R. Mitchell and Mitzi Bickers.

An attorney with the law department issued a response to various requests filed by Channel 2 Action News and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

She cited the ongoing federal investigation as an excuse for the city’s refusal to provide copies of ER Mitchell’s contracts with the city, how much he was paid, and the bidding documents to show who selected him for the contracts.

The city also refused to provide documents related to Bickers, even though prosecutors have not disclosed any connection between her and the bribery case thus far.

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