Former high-ranking official pleads guilty to conspiracy charge in federal bribery case

ATLANTA — A former high-ranking official in Atlanta's city government has pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge in a federal bribery case.

Channel 2's Mark Winne broke this story Monday night when he learned from a court official indicated that a hearing was set for 3 pm Tuesday for Adam Smith before U.S. District Judge Steve Jones, who has handled previous cases involving the Atlanta City Hall corruption investigation.

Channel 2's Aaron Diamant spoke to Smith's attorney, Brian Steel, after Smith pleaded guilty. Steel said Smith takes full responsibility for his actions.

“This is a horrible day and a horrible time in Mr. Smith’s life. However, this misconduct is a total aberration. I firmly believe Mr. Smith will continue to do great things in his life. This criminal conduct will not define him," Steel said.


On Monday night, a source told Winne it is the same Adam Smith who formerly served as the city of Atlanta's chief procurement officer until the mayor fired him months ago.

The source said a criminal information charge -- a type of formal criminal charge often used when a suspect waives his right to indictment by a grand jury -- has now been filed against Smith charging him with conspiracy.

Channel 2 Action News obtained that document Tuesday morning.

The document reads in part, "Beginning on a date unknown, but from at least 2015 to January 2017, Smith met privately with (an executive with an Atlanta construction firm) on multiple occasions ... After most of the meetings, (the executive) paid Smith approximately $1,000 in cash."

The document says over that time period, the executive paid Smith more than $30,000 in cash "with the intent to influence Smith in his role as Atlanta's Chief Procurement Officer."

As Chief Procurement Officer, Smith oversaw the City of Atlanta's purchasing activities and its expenditure of billions of dollars of public money.