Atlanta mayor: More subpoenas expected in massive corruption investigation

ATLANTA — Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told Channel 2 Action News that city officials do not know where the massive federal corruption investigation is heading, but she definitely expects more subpoenas.

WSB-TV and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution broke the story Tuesday that authorities have issued two more subpoenas, including the first mention of former Mayor Kasim Reed.

Channel 2's investigative reporter Richard Belcher learned that one of the two federal subpoenas signals two firsts in the sprawling investigation: the first mention of Reed and the first sign that federal authorities are interested in spending with city purchase cards. WSB-TV and the AJC explored that in March.

Reed wrote checks on his personal account in early March, reimbursing the city for $12,000 in P-card purchases, which Reed decided to refund after the AJC asked to see his spending records.

A spokesman said Reed wanted to make sure that he did everything by the book, and the only substantial expense that was clearly improper was a $2,300 political contribution on his city card.
Reed blamed it on a staff error.


Reed's expenses were lavish, nearly $300,000 for mostly luxury airfare, hotels and meals over his last three years in office.

His spokesman said they were all for legitimate city business.

“I think everything that the mayor had, using his P-card, he was working on behalf of the city,” said spokesman Jeff Dickerson.

The two subpoenas asked specifically about the P-card records for four people and the relationship between Reed's deputy chief of staff and a businessman who pleaded guilty to wire fraud.

The four are the former mayor, his brother Tracy, a former city employee, Reed's deputy chief of staff, Katrina Taylor Parks, and Mitzi Bickers, Reed's former campaign adviser, who was indicted earlier this month ago, accused of accepting $2 million in bribes to steer city contracts.

“We don't know if this is about something specific, or if this is looking at everything that the press has brought to the attention of the public,” said Bottoms.

Bottoms told the Atlanta Press Club Wednesday she has asked federal prosecutors for direction.

“I have not received specific information that leads me to believe that there is anything more specific that I can do right now,” Bottoms said.

Bottoms said she doesn't anticipate that these latest subpoenas will be the last in what is now a rapidly spreading federal investigation well into its third year.