“The ethics document is incorrect,” Reed said. “She was not a direct report to my office. She did report to the chief of staff.” Reed added that only his chief of staff and chief operating officer report directly to him.
Mitchell, 63, pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to conspiring to commit bribery and launder money to receive city construction contracts. Federal prosecutors say Mitchell paid more than $1 million to an unidentified person, who then ferried the money to one or more other city officials with influence over awarding city contracts. Prosecutors say Mitchell's company received contracts worth millions of dollars between 2010 and 2015.
As part of his plea, he has agreed to cooperate with the on-going federal probe and testify against others if they are charged.
Bickers, a pastor who also worked for one of Mitchell’s companies, has not responded to requests for comment.
“Rev. Bickers was not in the operational area,” Reed said. “She was in the human services area because she had worked on my political campaign for mayor and she was a reverend in the community.”
Shandarrick L. Barnes, the man arrested in the incident, worked as chief financial officer for Bicker’s public relations company from 2004-2010, according to business filings with the state.