The revelation sent shockwaves through City Hall, with City Council President Felicia Moore calling the payments illegal. The council asked the city's internal auditor and chief ethics officer to perform a review of the payments. And Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms' office called the bonuses excessive, with the administration suggesting the hiring of an outside law firm to investigate the legality of the payments.
Keane informed his staff of his decision through an email: “I recognize this has been a topic in the media and at City Hall. Wanted you to know this from me.”
The AJC couldn’t reach DiMassimo or Benfield for comment.
Last week, Shields wrote an email to her command staff explaining her reasoning for returning the money.
“I firmly believe that any monetary accolades that I am afforded should only occur once the department has been taken care of, which means there are roughly 2,000 people before me,” Shields wrote. “I’m making you aware of this because we have much work ahead of us, and the people grinding it out every day need to know that you and I have not forgotten how difficult it is to police.”
The other employees who declined bonuses were: Jalal Slade, the city’s enterprise assets management officer, who received $10,000; Matthew Bartleet, deputy director of Atlanta Innovation Delivery, also awarded $10,000; and Deborah Ann Matthews, who received $2,500.