Latest Atlanta bribery news tough to interpret, former prosecutor says

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Questions about Atlanta's procurement process have swirled since federal prosecutors charged two contractors with conspiracy to commit bribery to win city contracts. BOB ANDRES /BANDRES@AJC.COM

The FBI’s seizure of a computer from the office of Atlanta’s chief procurement officer, shortly after the officer was fired on Tuesday, doesn’t necessarily mean that Adam Smith is implicated in the government’s bribery investigation, says a former prosecutor.

“At this point you don’t know that he’s a target,” says Zahra S. Karinshak, a partner at Krevolin & Horst and a former federal prosecutor in Atlanta. “He might just be the guy who has all the papers.”

Smith was led from City Hall Tuesday shortly before FBI agents acted on a subpoena for Smith’s computer and a phone, according to Channel 2 Action News.

The Morehouse graduate had been chief procurement officer for the city since 2003, managing hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts, before he was summarily fired Tuesday.

Questions about Atlanta's procurement process have swirled since federal prosecutors charged two contractors with conspiracy to commit bribery to win city contracts. BOB ANDRES /BANDRES@AJC.COM

Questions about Atlanta’s procurement process have swirled since federal prosecutors charged two contractors with conspiracy to commit bribery to win city contracts. BOB ANDRES /BANDRES@AJC.COM

The development came amidst a wide-ranging probe of city contracting, which has so far netted two guilty pleas from contractors. Elvin “E.R.” Mitchell and Charles Richards Jr. have pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit bribery and are scheduled for sentencing April 28.

Read the latest developments on myAJC.com.


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