Senior staffer for former mayor pleads guilty in City Hall bribery case

ATLANTA — Former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed's deputy chief of staff, Katrina Taylor Parks, is just the latest casualty in the two-year long federal corruption probe.

The investigation has become so broad that the feds have called in more agents and analysts to look into the case.

After questioning U.S. Attorney B.J. Pak outside the federal courthouse on Tuesday, Channel 2 investigative reporter Aaron Diamant said Pak made one thing is clear: He believes Parks' conviction won't be the last.

[TIMELINE: The Atlanta City Hall Investigation]

“The question is not if, but when we’re coming,” Pak said. “Our agents and our investigative team are not going to stop until we find out the truth and we bring justice, justice to the citizens of Atlanta.”

On Wednesday, Parks pleaded guilty to a felony conspiracy to commit bribery charge.

Prosecutors accused Parks of accepting thousands of dollars in bribes from a city vendor in 2013. In exchange, that vendor got access, influence and nearly $100,00 in city work.

Channel 2 Action News spoke with Parks briefly after court.

“A little overwhelmed right now, so my attorney will be happy to answer any questions,” Parks said.

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Diamant asked Parks’ attorney, Jay Strongwater, about the part of his client’s plea deal that requires her to cooperate with the feds’ ongoing investigation.

“She’ll be assisting to the extent that she’s asked,” Strongwater said.

“Is she ruling anything out at this point, or is she willing to do whatever they ask?” Diamant asked.

“What has been proposed to her has been acceptable,” Strongwater said.

Parks is the fifth person convicted in the fed’s probe, which Pak said has grown so large he’s brought in reinforcements


Pak stopped short of calling Reed a target Wednesday.

“When you have repeated instances of corruption and culture and weak internal control and you have to take a look at who set the tone at the top,” Pak said.

Dozens of federal investigators now are on the case including the FBI and the IRS, whose local boss promised to keep following the money.

“That effort continues as money flowed in and out and around City Hall, for City Hall was truly open for business,” said IRS Special Agent in Charge Thomas Holloman.

Parks will be sentenced in November. She faces up to five years in prison.

So far, Reed has not responded to our request for comment.

Late Wednesday afternoon, Diamant got a statement from Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, saying:

“The people of Atlanta deserve better and should have a government that works honestly on their behalf. It is both tragic and disappointing that individuals who have had the privilege of serving Atlanta have ruined their personal and professional reputations for ill-gotten gain."