Feds: Former Kasim Reed Deputy Pleads Guilty To Accepting Bribes

Mayor Keisha Lance-Bottoms says Atlanta deserves better

Maria Boynton
August 15, 2018 - 4:48 pm

The federal corruption investigation at Atlanta City Hall continues to yield defendants. Wednesday, Katrina Taylor-Parks pleaded guilty to accepting bribes in exchange for vendor contracts. She is the second member of former Mayor Kasim Reed's cabinet to be charged with conspiracy and accepting bribes.

Mayor Keisha Lance-Bottoms said in a statement, "The people of Atlanta deserve better and should have a government that works honestly on their behalf. It is both tragic and disappointing that individuals who have had the privilege of serving Atlanta have ruined their personal and professional reputations for ill-gotten gain. I remain committed to leading our Administration in full cooperation with the authorities to ensure a fair and swift closure to this unfortunate chapter in our city’s history. Just as we have in the past, we will rise and emerge on the other side of this a stronger city and more connected community.”

According to U.S. Attorney Byung J. Pak, “Parks was trusted to serve the citizens of Atlanta, but opted instead to betray that confidence when she accepted bribes from a vendor,” Pak adding, “Unfortunately, she is not alone.  Parks represents the fifth defendant to enter a guilty plea in this investigation.  We remain resolute in our commitment to root out those who seek to profit personally at the expense of the public’s trust.”

A press release from Pak's office indicates, a vendor, who was an executive with a firm in Atlanta during Parks’ tenure as the Deputy Chief of Staff, sought work through his businesses with the City of Atlanta, and the City of Atlanta awarded one project to the vendor’s firm worth $99,999.

The release goes on to state, that from late-2011 to mid-2013, Parks met privately with the vendor on multiple occasions. During the meetings, Parks and the vendor were found to have discussed various topics, including the vendor’s desire to obtain work with the City of Atlanta, the idea of sole-source contracting, and the process by which the vendor could obtain a sole-source contract with the City of Atlanta. At the time of these meetings, according to investigators, the vendor was actively seeking projects and work with Atlanta, and at times was performing work for the City of Atlanta.

The federal investigation found that the vendor paid Parks thousands of dollars and paid for various services on Parks’ behalf, while seeking work with the City of Atlanta. In return for these bribe payments, according to U.S. Attorney Pak, Parks knew that the vendor wanted her to use her position and power as the Mayor’s Deputy Chief of Staff to assist the vendor with the City of Atlanta’s contracting and procurement process, and to assist the vendor in the future when needed.

Reports indicate that, in 2013,  Parks accepted a $2,000 bribe through a company that she owned. Her husband, DeAnthony Parks, was also accused of accepting a $2,000 payment, yet he was not charged.

Parks could face 5 years in prison if convicted.