Key player in bribery scandal made secret recordings for FBI

ATLANTA — Channel 2 Action News has discovered that a former high-ranking official in Atlanta's city government may receive a dramatically reduced sentence.

Adam Smith, who formerly served as the city of Atlanta's chief procurement officer, pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge in September for his involvement in a bribery scandal at Atlanta City Hall.

Former high-ranking official now charged in Atlanta City Hall bribery investigation

As procurement officer, Smith oversaw the city's spending of billions in public money.

Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne learned that recordings by Smith may have proved valuable to federal investigators.

Winne showed the findings to legal analyst Manny Arora, who said prosecutors are asking a judge to cut Smith's potential sentence by much more than they would for most cooperating defendants, likely because of the recordings.


“How long has it been since you’ve seen a 40 percent (sentence reduction) request by the government?” Winne asked Arora.

“It’s very rare. Usually you have to do something herculean, you know, to get it, and apparently these recordings were of substantial value to the government, so they’re giving him a pretty substantial bump,” Arora said.

Records indicate Smith agreed to cooperate and plead guilty to a conspiracy charge involving a vendor, contracts worth millions and more than $30,000 in cash a document says the vendor paid Smith.

A newly filed motion by the government says, “The United States requests that the court reduce Smith's sentence by 40 percent."

The motions said Smith provided, “Several audio files containing recorded conversations between Smith and others (and) Smith recorded conversations at the request and direction of the Federal Bureau of Investigation."

The motion also said Smith provided information to the FBI multiple times.

“He’s done a ton and so that’s why he’s getting 40. Might be able to get a little bit more by his lawyers asking his judge for even more,” Arora told Winne.

A sentencing hearing for Smith has been set for next week.

An official biography for Smith says he had been chair of the city's Board of Ethics. Before joining the city, Smith was a partner at Holland & Knight law firm.