Atlanta mayoral candidates react to City Hall bribery scandal plea

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Atlanta mayoral candidates react to City Hall bribery scandal plea

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Several Atlanta mayoral candidates are speaking out about Tuesday’s plea by the city’s former procurement office leader. Adam Smith pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge for taking $30,000 in bribes. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

Candidates hoping to succeed Kasim Reed as Atlanta’s next mayor and those hoping to become Atlanta City Council President reacted to Tuesday’s charges against former city of Atlanta procurement lead Adam Smith.

“When people in government break the law, the public’s trust is dramatically damaged,” said former city of Atlanta COO Peter Aman, who is running for mayor. “Atlanta taxpayers deserve honesty and sunshine at City Hall.”

Smith pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge Tuesday for taking more than $30,000 in bribes to help a vendor win City Hall contracts from at least 2015 to January 2017. Smith met regularly with the vendor, who federal authorities declined to name, at local restaurants to discuss “upcoming and ongoing” procurement and construction projects.

Prosecutors said Smith usually would receive $1,000 in cash during the meetings when he and the vendor would step into the restaurant’s restroom.

John Eaves, former Fulton County Commission Chairman and mayoral candidate, said in a statement, “The mayor, city council members and Peter Aman are ALL connected to and responsible for the corruption that overwhelms City Hall. City Hall needs an overhaul.”

Kwanza Hall, Atlanta City Councilman, Atlanta mayoral candidate: “It is disappointing to hear the allegations that Adam Smith violated the public’s trust by accepting cash from a construction vendor bidding for city contracts. He will have his day in court and I am fully confident in our legal system.”

Felicia Moore, Atlanta City Councilwoman, candidate for city council president: “I was of course very disappointed to hear about Adam Smith. It highlights the ongoing need at City Hall for more steps towards transparency and accountability, and it’s why I’m proud to be the only City Councilmember to have passed transparency legislation, and will continue to fight to move the ball down the field towards and more responsive and open City Hall.”

Alex Wan, Atlanta City Councilman, candidate for city council president: “I suspect there will be more to come as this continues to unfold. Frustrating for those of us that are in no way associated with this, but I’m anxious for all to be revealed so that we can really go after reforming our contracting processes.”

Cathy Woolard, former Atlanta City Council President, Atlanta mayoral candidate: “It’s a real tragedy for the city of Atlanta and there is more to come. This is another ugly chapter in the history of bribery and corruption in this city.”

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