CORRECTION: Sentencing July 12
Mitzi Bickers, who has had a hand in numerous election campaigns in Clayton County and beyond, has been found guilty on nine of 12 federal corruption charges related to the Atlanta City Hall contracting scandal.
Bickers was convicted of conspiracy to commit bribery (count 1), money laundering (counts 4-6), wire fraud (counts 7-10), and making false statements/falsifying tax returns (count 12).
Bickers was acquitted of conspiracy to commit bribery (count 2), bribery (count 3), and tampering with a witness (count 11).
The jury took about seven hours to reach its verdict.
U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia Kurt Erskine released this statement on Bickers’ conviction:
“Good government necessarily depends on government employees serving the interests of the public first. Government contracts should always go to the most qualified bidder through a contracting process that is both fair and transparent.
“Today a federal jury found that Mitzi Bickers conspired to use her influence as a high-ranking City of Atlanta official to steer lucrative city contracts to those willing to pay bribes. The illicit arrangement netted millions of dollars for Bickers and the city contractors willing to pay to play.
“We are thankful for the jury’s service on this case. We are also grateful for the dedication of the FBI and IRS agents who worked tirelessly to investigate this case as well as the prosecutors and staff in the U.S. Attorney’s Office who worked to bring the defendant to justice.”
Wednesday evening, a consent preliminary order of forfeiture listed these items Bickers would have to surrender:
- her million-dollar house on Lake Spivey at 3306 Bay View Drive, Jonesboro (unincorporated Henry County)
- a 2014 GMC Acadia Denali
- four wave runners
Defense attorney Drew Findling said he would file an appeal to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
“This witness became somewhat testimonial during the entire trial,” Findling said. “Referenced probably hundreds of times in documents and actual testimony and we didn’t have the benefit of cross-examining that person. It created a lot of difficulty but obviously it is going to be an issue that will be aggressively pursued in an appeal to the 11th Circuit. That you can rest assured.”
An attorney for Cotina Alexander, whom the defense had subpoenaed as a witness, said she would have taken the Fifth if she were to come to court. Judge Steven C. Jones said the trial would proceed without her. She had been placed on administrative leave.
Mitchell told the jury that Bickers was upset during a conversation he had with her, saying Bickers was unhappy because Katrina Taylor-Parks had not passed along bribe money to “our people” inside City Hall–Alexander and Braswell.
Alexander’s name was on some of the e-mails presented as evidence of the special treatment Mitchell and Richards got on contracts with the city.
After Braswell testified in the case, she also was placed on administrative leave from the City of Atlanta.
Alexander has been placed on administrative leave as deputy commissioner of the Atlanta Department of Transportation.