Multiple rows of boxes containing documents related to the Atlanta City Hall bribery investigation were released to the press and public in Atlanta, Georgia, on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017. HENRY TAYLOR / AJC

Breaking: Top Reed aide pressured officials to delay records release

New texts obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News show a top aide to former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed pressuring other city officials to delay production of open records during Reed’s final months in office.

In unvarnished, sometimes vulgar comments, the texts reveal the mindset of senior Reed administration officials through the unguarded words of one of Reed’s closest advisers and most ardent defenders, former communications director Anne Torres.

The GBI opened a criminal investigation of the city’s handling of open records requests last month after the AJC and Channel 2 reported on other text messages from former Reed press secretary Jenna Garland.

Garland instructed another staffer “to drag this out as long as possible” and provide information “in the most confusing format available” in response to a Channel 2 open records request for city water billing records.

The new texts from Torres show Garland’s instructions to curtail production of records were not an isolated incident. Torres defended the remarks as “inter-employee banter.”

This is a developing story. Tune in to Richard Belcher’s report on Channel 2 at 6 p.m. and return to later today for the full story.

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