Former Mayor Kasim Reed’s deputy chief of staff, Katrina Parks, was charged this morning with conspiracy to commit bribery. She is scheduled to plead guilty in federal court on Monday afternoon.
The charges, which were made by a federal prosecutor, claimed Parks accepted thousands of dollars in bribes from an unnamed Atlanta vendor.
Federal prosecutors subpoenaed Parks’ records in April.
“Public officials have a responsibility to lead with integrity. Regrettably, Parks allegedly exchanged the power and trust given to her for bribe money paid by a city contractor,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. Pak, the attorney who brought the charges.
Charges also stated Parks made false claims on financial disclosure statements and “falsely attesting that she was not self employed or employed by any business or entity other than the City of Atlanta.”
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms released a statement shortly after the charges were announced.
“I am saddened to learn that Katrina Taylor Parks was the subject of a criminal information on federal bribery charges,” Bottoms’ statement reads. “These unfortunate developments stand in stark contrast to her reputation as an effective and experienced City Hall executive. Her service to this Administration was brief. After taking personal leave for several months, Parks made the decision recently to retire. Our Administration has been steadfast in its commitment to create extraordinary and innovative new transparency safeguards, while at the same time assisting federal prosecutors each step of the way in their ongoing investigation.”
This is the latest development in a federal investigation, led by the FBI and IRS, that has lasted for more than a year.
The investigation has exposed a string of Atlanta city officials. So far, four people have been jailed in connection to the corruption.