Top city official fired, FBI seizes computer and phone

Chief Procurement Officer Adam Smith was fired Tuesday after the city was hit with a subpoena.
Chief Procurement Officer Adam Smith was fired Tuesday after the city was hit with a subpoena.

WSB-TV  (Atlanta)  by: Jodie Fleischer, Richard Belcher, Dave Huddleston, J. Scott Trubey, AJC

A top city leader has been fired and escorted out of Atlanta City Hall.

Chief Procurement Officer Adam Smith was fired Tuesday after the city was hit with a subpoena.

The mayor’s office says Smith was fired and then federal agents seized equipment from his office.

The items seized: A city owned-computer and a city-owned phone.

Channel 2’s Dave Huddleston walked into the procurement office Tuesday looking for Smith after hearing the feds had been to the office, but he had already been let go.

The city sent Channel 2 Action News a statement saying: “The City of Atlanta announced today that Adam Smith, Chief Procurement Officer, has been relieved of his duties effective immediately.”

This comes as federal agents investigate a $1 million bribery case involving contractors and city hall.

Two Atlanta area contractors, E.R. Mitchell and Charles Richards, pleaded guilty to paying bribes to someone in city government, believing it would lead to lucrative city contracts.

Both are cooperating with federal investigators in return for leniency.


The U.S. attorney said the bribery occurred between 2010 and 2015.The federal visit to city hall is the latest development in the case.

Less than two weeks ago, Channel 2 investigative reporter Richard Belcher asked Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed about Smith after hearing he might be a target in the investigation.

“Adam Smith works for the city of Atlanta. I do not know if he’s been questioned by the FBI,” Reed said at the time.

Reed has repeatedly said he himself has not been questioned by the FBI and that city officials are cooperating with the feds.

Throughout his 14-year career with the city, Smith ran an office that oversees hundreds of millions of dollars in spending.

Smith was seen regularly during the months long controversy over some $2 billion in airport concessions contracts five years ago.

He was brought in as procurement director by then-mayor Shirley Franklin in 2003 and kept on by Reed.

Smith was educated at Morehouse College, Yale and Georgetown Law, and earned $202,000 a year from the city.

 

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