Inside City Hall: Firm that copied Coffee Co. election files also has a contract with the city

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Atlanta City Hall

Newly released documents in an ongoing federal lawsuit over Georgia’s voting system have revealed information about the role an Atlanta-based IT firm apparently played in copying confidential election files in Coffee County.

Our colleague Mark Neisse has reported on the case involving SullivanStrickler, the company that sent four of its employees to the South Georgia county in January 2021 at the behest of Sidney Powell, an attorney for then-President Donald Trump. They copied memory cards that store votes, ballot scanners and an election server, records show.

The GBI recently opened a criminal investigation of computer trespass, which is a felony.

SullivanStrickler also has a connection to Atlanta City Hall.

When the city was hit with a ransomware attack in 2018, crippling its computer network and compromising data, the city turned to SullivanStrickler to help recover records that were lost in the attack.

SullivanStrickler now hosts the city’s archival data, which includes documents that could be needed for lawsuits, investigations or records requests from the public. The firm helped the city produce documents in response to the subpoenas from the U.S. Department of Justice in the federal bribery probe into City Hall.

SullivanStrickler now has a $1.3 million annual contract with the city to store and produce its “legacy data,” records show. A City Council ordinance approving the contract noted the “sensitivity and potential confidentiality of the investigatory projects underlying” the firm’s work.

The City of Atlanta entered into emergency contracts worth $2.7 million to help restore the city’s computer network in the days following the March 22 ransomware cyber attack.(WSB-TV)

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Financial records show the city has paid SullivanStrickler nearly $1.5 million since 2020, mostly for work related to legal cases or investigations. Of that total, over $370,000 in payments were related to the DOJ investigation.

Asked whether the news of the GBI investigation could affect the city’s relationship with SullivanStricker, a spokesman for Mayor Andre Dickens’ office said, “We learned of the matter in media reports … and have contacted the vendor for more information.”

The company’s website states that its clients include Fortune 500 companies, law firms, sole practitioners and municipalities.

SullivanStricker asserted in a statement last week it was doing legitimate work when it went to Coffee County, though it hasn’t explained its justification for copying confidential data, besides a statement that the firm was preserving election records under Powell’s direction.

”The firm elected to cease any further new work on this matter after the January 7th time period. With the benefit of hindsight, and knowing everything they know now, they would not take on any further work of this kind,” the company said in a statement, adding that SullivanStrickler will cooperate with the investigation.


April 15, 2022 Atlanta - Aerial photograph shows Atlanta Civic Center on Friday, April 15, 2022. (Hyosub Shin /


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The Atlanta Housing Authority is now spending the next six to nine months finalizing negotiations with the Republic Family of Companies, The Michaels Organization, and Sophy Capital to develop a mixed-use community on the site of city’s massive, aging civic center.

Trish O’Connell, Atlanta Housing’s deputy chief real estate officer, said the developers proposed to build 1,311 units. Approximately 525 of those homes will offer rents affordable for people making at or below 80% of the area median income, which is $77,120 for a family of four.

The land consists of 19 acres, but the deal only focuses on 14.7 acres. Sophy Capital would own 33% of that land, with the remaining portion split between Republic Properties and the Michaels Organization, according to O’Connell’s presentation on the deal. The project is slated for completion in 2030.


Speaking of housing, the AHA on Tuesday is hosting a groundbreaking ceremony for the Juanita H. Gardner Village. The new affordable housing project will provide 108 independent homes for seniors in a three-story elevator building in the Adamsville neighborhood. The project closed on its financing in June and is scheduled for a 14-month construction period.


Mayor Dickens was mentioned last week in a New York Times article that explored the ethics surrounding the New York City mayor’s habit of participating in the city’s various nightlife scenes. According to the article, Mayor Eric Adams met Dickens on a late night in May at Zero Bond, a private club in Lower Manhattan. The mayors then held a discussion in a V.I.P. room unlocked with a fingerprint scanner, according to The Times.

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