The city of Atlanta has announced that it has put 1.3 million records related to a federal corruption probe online.
The city has been working to make all records connected to the investigation available for public review. In February, the city disclosed millions of pages connected to the investigation after receiving numerous records requests from the media.
The corruption investigation involves contracts awarded to Elvin R. Mitchell Jr., who pleaded guilty to paying $1 million in bribes to unnamed city of Atlanta officials. The U.S. Attorney’s Office also says that another contractor, Charles P. Richards Jr. paid more than $185,000 to receive government contracts. Last month, Atlanta Chief Procurement Officer Adam Smith was escorted from City Hall.
As procurement officer, Smith would’ve had significant influence over the awarding of city contracts.
The records are being made available through a secure online document repository. Residents can register for an account to use the online document repository by visiting:
Using the repository, people can perform full text searches, preview up to 400 pages of any document, download any document and tag a document or folder as a favorite.
“The ODR is also accessible through the Citrix ShareFile mobile app for iPhone and Android. Citrix users will login with the same credentials as the ODR site,” the city said in a press release.
More from the city:
Documents are arranged in three categories: documents related to E.R. Mitchell and C.P. Richards, documents related to Mitzi Bickers, and documents related to Adam Smith. Documents are labeled according to the Bates numbering system used to identify and track documents in legal proceedings. The Bates system places identifying numbers on documents for reference, and those numbers do not reflect a count of documents. The majority of Microsoft Excel spreadsheets have been uploaded in their native excel format. However, due to technical difficulties, a portion of the spreadsheets have been provided in .pdf format with full-text searching and maximizing capabilities.
The City of Atlanta made 1.3 million pages of documents available for review by the press and public within weeks of the U.S. Attorney’s announcement of the investigation. The City then made all contracts for companies associated with E.R. Mitchell and C.P. Richards available online within two business days. Many spreadsheets were difficult to read due to printing issues; the City made these spreadsheets available online the following week.
The City of Atlanta’s top priority is full cooperation with the ongoing federal criminal investigation. Additionally, the City will continue to work to ensure the press and public have access to all non-privileged, non-private records produced for the federal investigation in a timely manner as those documents continue to be produced.
The ODR replaces the FTP drives which originally contained contracts and spreadsheets due to the limitations of FTP storage capacity. Furthermore, the documents held in Old Council Chambers will no longer be available for review as those documents are now available electronically. All printed documents will be recycled.