Peter Aman, the former COO of the city of Atlanta and a candidate to succeed Kasim Reed as mayor, on Wednesday called on Atlanta’s City Council to restrict city staff from working on the campaigns of their bosses.
“I’m calling on City Council to enact a resolution, in fact a binding ordinance, prohibiting full-time members of City Council staff from engaging in the political activity of their bosses,” he said.
The target of Aman’s ire: frontrunner Mary Norwood. Aman said at the Wednesday event that Norwood employed two staffers on her campaign team who are also city workers on her staff — Erika Barnes-Ford and Anthony Benton. Further, Aman alleged that Barnes-Ford was listed as “self-employed” on campaign disclosures instead of being listed as a city worker.
He also asked Norwood to repay taxpayers money spent on the city workers while they worked on the campaign.
Norwood’s campaign balked at the allegations. A Norwood spokeswoman said Barnes-Ford and Benton are part-time workers and therefore are allowed to work on the campaigns.
Norwood said using close staff is something she has done for several campaigns. She is comfortable working with those with whom she has a long-time relationship and who know many of the constituents that she knows.
“That is not new,” she said. “I have people working with me on my campaign who I have worked with for years. We keep meticulous records and there are no city resources being used for campaigning whatsoever.”
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