In a brief, two sentence statement, a spokeswoman for Mayor Kasim Reed acknowledged Smith had been dismissed, but it did not state the explicit cause nor acknowledge the actions of federal investigators.
"The City of Atlanta announced today that Adam Smith, Chief Procurement Officer, has been relieved of his duties effective immediately,” the statement read. “Chief Counsel Angela Hinton will serve as Interim Chief Procurement Officer until a permanent replacement is named."
Eyewitnesses initially said Smith was escorted out of the building by law enforcement officials. But city officials later said Smith was escorted from the building by unspecified city personnel who do not work in law enforcement.
The move by investigators comes amid a probe by the feds into a bribery scheme involving city of Atlanta contracts.
The feds have said a pair of contractors paid more than $1 million in bribes in exchange for city contracts, though it’s not clear if Tuesday’s actions and the broader investigation are connected.
So far, two Atlanta area contractors — Elvin “E.R.” Mitchell Jr. and Charles P. Richards Jr. — have pleaded guilty to paying bribes to an unnamed person under the belief the money would flow to one or more Atlanta officials with influence over city contracts.
Prosecutors say the two contractors won millions of dollars in city business as part of the scheme and they have agreed to testify in exchange for leniency. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has said the Atlanta scheme occurred from 2010 to 2015.
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