Photo Credit: WSB-TV
Adam Smith, the former head of the City’s of Atlanta’s Procurement Department, plead guilty in federal court Tuesday afternoon to conspiring to accept more than $30,000 in bribe payments from a vendor who obtained millions of dollars in city contracts.
In February of this year, Smith had “been relieved of his duties effective immediately” according to a statement from Mayor Kasim Reed’s office. At the time, no specific reason was given for Smith’s firing, however, FBI agents also confiscated a computer and a phone from Smith’s department alleged to be in connection with a federal bribery conspiracy investigation.
The Procurement Department is responsible for awarding contracts — several of them and their respective processes now under federal scrutiny.
Earlier this year, two former city vendors, Charles P. Richards Jr. of Tucker and Elvin R. Mitchell Jr., plead guilty to paying more than a million dollars in bribes to get city contracts.
Prosecutors say Mitchell and Richards conspired to pay city officials to award them lucrative city contracts, with more than $1 million paid out between 2010 and 2015.
From 2003 to 2017, the 53-year-old Smith oversaw every single bid and major contract that went through Atlanta City Hall, but current information shows the bribes only going back about two years.
Smith was brought to City Hall about 14 years ago by then-mayor Shirley Franklin to help rewrite the city’s ethics code and to help clean up the procurement office following the scandals under Bill Campbell’s administration.