According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the city of Atlanta’s former chief procurement officer has been sentenced after pleading guilty to accepting bribes from an unnamed city vendor.
U.S. District Judge Steven Jones sentenced Adam L. Smith to two years, three months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. He was ordered to pay $44,000 in restitution, and a $25,000 fine.
Smith pleaded guilty in September.
“As the City of Atlanta’s Chief Procurement Officer, Smith was given great trust and power by its citizens. He chose to serve his own financial interests rather than use that trust to serve the public,” U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak said in a press release. “His prison sentence is a strong reminder to those tempted to trade their public positions and authority for money – the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners will not stand idly by. To the contrary, we are committed to the investigation and prosecution of public corruption offenses to combat the corrosion of people’s trust in their government.”
The U.S. Attorney’s office said Smith met with an unnamed city vendor on a regular basis and counseled him regarding the city’s purchasing process. He never disclosed his financial relationship with the vendor to the city, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
“From at least 2015 to January 2017, Smith met privately with Vendor on multiple occasions, frequently at local restaurants,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. “During these meetings, Smith and Vendor discussed Atlanta procurement projects, bids, and solicitations. Often at the time of these meetings, Vendor was actively seeking contracts, projects, and work with Atlanta.
“After most of these meetings, Vendor and Smith met in the restaurant’s bathroom, where Vendor paid Smith approximately $1,000 in cash. In return for the bribe payments, Vendor expected Smith to use his position and power as Atlanta’s Chief Procurement Officer to assist Vendor with contracting/procurement with Atlanta and to furnish Vendor with future benefits and favors when needed.”
Smith received more than $40,000 from the vendor.
The corruption investigation has also uncovered 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.
The corruption investigation was revealed in January 2017 when Mitchell was arraigned on conspiratorial bribery and money laundering charges.