Atlanta Council president calls for forensic audit of Ex-CFO Beard

Former Atlanta chief financial officer Jim Beard
Former Atlanta chief financial officer Jim Beard

Atlanta City Council President Felicia Moore on Monday called for a forensic audit of actions taken by former chief financial officer Jim Beard.

Moore said Monday she is particularly interested in looking at any activities in which Beard overrode internal controls, and is willing to work with the city council to allocate funding.

“Due to the critical nature of this request, I am open to the acquisition of an independent auditing firm to conduct this audit,” Moore said in a letter to City Auditor Amanda Noble. “As it pertains to the most recent allegations against the former CFO, these revelations highlight the need for both the public and the City Council to fully understand the scope of actions taken by the former CFO wherein internal controls were overridden.”

Moore's request comes after The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Friday reported that Beard purchased two highly restricted, fully automatic rifles by saying they were for the exclusive use of the Atlanta Police Department.

But a police report and other documents say Beard retained possession of the guns from their purchase in 2015 until last year when he dropped them off at the police department.

Federal law prohibits most civilians from owning fully automatic weapons, making them desirable collectors items.

A property tag on the gun case identifies Beard as the guns' owner. The documents have been turned over to federal agents investigating corruption at Atlanta City Hall.

Beard’s attorney, Scott Grubman, disputed that Beard ever took personal possession of the weapons.

“Findings from the ongoing investigations continue to be disturbing,” Moore said in a prepared statement.

Beard left city employment last year.