Sentencing for Mitzi Bickers moved to September

Former Atlanta City Hall official convicted earlier this year of conspiracy to commit bribery

The federal sentencing of Pastor Mitzi Bickers, the former Atlanta City Hall official convicted earlier this year of conspiracy to commit bribery and eight other counts related to a cash-for-contracts scheme, has been rescheduled to September.

Bickers’ attorneys filed a motion last week seeking more time to evaluate a federal sentencing report in her case.

The sentencing, originally scheduled for July 12, is now set for Sept. 8 in front of U.S. District Court Judge Steven C. Jones. Bickers was released on bond after her conviction, which her attorneys have said they plan to appeal.

“The guideline calculations and other issues to be litigated at the time of sentencing in this matter are complex,” attorneys for Bickers said in the filing requesting the rescheduling.

A jury found Bickers guilty in March on nine of the 12 felony counts against her, including money laundering, wire fraud and filing false tax returns. She was acquitted on three charges: one alleging witness tampering; one related to municipal campaign work she did in Jackson, Mississippi; and another that alleged she conspired to pay bribes to a city official she left her Atlanta job in 2013.

Bickers, a get-out-the-vote guru who helped former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed get elected in 2009 and later joined his administration as director of human services, faces a maximum sentence of more than 100 years behind bars under federal criminal code, though it is likely she would face far less time in prison.

After her conviction, she resigned from her job as chief of staff for Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill. Bickers joined the Clayton sheriff’s office in 2016.

Hill, with whom she had a close friendship and for whom she helped campaign for office, promoted her often over the years, including as leader of the office’s chaplains. As Hill’s chief of staff she earned in excess of $130,000 a year.