The city of Atlanta has agreed to release 1.3 million pages of records tied to a probe into corruption at city hall.
According to the city, the records will be made available free of charge. The move follows complaints by media organizations, including Atlanta Loop, about the city’s refusal to release information about contracts awarded to Elvin R. Mitchell Jr., who has pleaded guilty to bribing city officials.
“As stated previously, the City’s top priority remains assisting in the ongoing criminal investigation,” Press Secretary Jenna Garland said via email. “To that end, the City maintained the confidentiality of records related to that open criminal investigation. The City is also committed to transparency as this investigation continues to evolve.
“The City just learned that the investigation has progressed to a point that certain documents may be produced without compromising the integrity of the investigation. The City is now preparing to make approximately 1.3 million pages of records available free of charge, on or before Friday, Feb. 10, 2017, subject only to redactions for privacy-related information. These records will include documents responsive to requests, as well as additional records delivered as part of the investigation.”
Atlanta Loop has withdrawn its complaint filed with the state Attorney General’s Office over the city’s initial refusal to disclose these records.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said that Mitchell, 63, is the owner of E.R. Mitchell Company, Cascade Building System, LLC, E.R. Mitchell Group, Inc. and EC & WT Construction Company Inc. He has admitted to paying unnamed city officials $1 million in bribes to secure contacts and is now cooperating with the government’s investigation. Atlanta Loop has requested the contracts awarded to Mitchell’s companies.