Cost of internal investigation into Atlanta’s contracting office: $150k

January 7, 2020 Atlanta -A former top Atlanta contracting official Larry Scott (center) walks into the Richard B. Russell Federal Courthouse for his sentencing on Tuesday, January 7, 2020. A former top Atlanta contracting official who admitted to being paid on the sly more than $220,000 over five years to help companies win government contracts -including with the city — is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday morning in federal court. Larry Scott, who managed contract compliance for the city, pleaded guilty in September to wire fraud and filing false tax returns. He’s the third high-ranking city official to plead guilty in the wide-ranging federal corruption probe of City Hall, which dates to at least mid-2015. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

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January 7, 2020 Atlanta -A former top Atlanta contracting official Larry Scott (center) walks into the Richard B. Russell Federal Courthouse for his sentencing on Tuesday, January 7, 2020. A former top Atlanta contracting official who admitted to being paid on the sly more than $220,000 over five years to help companies win government contracts -including with the city — is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday morning in federal court. Larry Scott, who managed contract compliance for the city, pleaded guilty in September to wire fraud and filing false tax returns. He’s the third high-ranking city official to plead guilty in the wide-ranging federal corruption probe of City Hall, which dates to at least mid-2015. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

The City of Atlanta has hired lawyer Allegra Lawrence-Hardy to conduct an internal review of the city’s Office of Contract Compliance, whose previous director plead guilty in federal court in September to charges of wire fraud and tax evasion.

The internal investigation is expected to require 325 hours of work at a fixed cost of $150,000, according to an engagement letter between Lawrence-Hardy’s firm, Lawrence & Bundy LLC, and the city.

The city redacted the portion of the letter describing the scope of the investigation claiming the information was attorney-client privileged.

Larry Scott, Atlanta’s former top contract compliance officer, was paid $220,000 over five years for helping companies obtain government contracts — including with the city of Atlanta, according to federal prosecutors. Scott failed to disclose his side business, a company called Cornerstone U.S. Management Group, that he operated with former Mayor Kasim Reed’s brother, Tracy.

The contract compliance office oversees the city’s minority contracting programs, which played a crucial role in shaping Atlanta’s history.

In a press release in September, Bottoms said “recent events” necessitated the review — an apparent reference to Scott’s guilty plea.

The engagement letter with Lawrence & Bundy LLC, which the Atlanta Journal-Constitution obtained this week through a public records request, is dated Dec. 11.

Lawrence-Hardy’s bio on her firm’s website says she focuses her practice on business and commercial litigation, labor and employment, and crisis management.

“She has successfully defended Fortune 100 companies throughout the United States and abroad in numerous trials, arbitrations and other forms of alternative dispute resolution,” according to the bio.