City bribery scandal widens as another contractor charged

City bribery scandal widens

ATLANTA -- A second contractor was charged Wednesday in a bribery scandal involving Atlanta city officials. 

Charles P. Richards, Jr., 64, is charged with conspiracy to commit bribery. Prosecutors alleged Richards paid more than $185,000 to unnamed city officials in exchange for construction contracts for the city of Atlanta. 

According to records filed with the Secretary of State, Richards is listed as CEO & CFO of CP Richards Construction, CP Richards & Associates.

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Authorities allege that there were at least five instances where Richards wrote checks or wired money to city officials with influence over awarding city contracts between 2010 and 2015.

“From approximately 2010 to August 2015, Richards conspired with E.R. Mitchell to buy lucrative construction-related contracts with the City of Atlanta,” said U.S. Attorney John A. Horn. “Contractors who willingly participate in a pay-to-play contracting system subvert the process for those who try to compete fairly and ultimately undermine the public’s trust in government.” 

Richards turned himself in around 9 a.m. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and was released on $10,000 signature bond, but has agreed to plead guilty at the next court hearing and cooperate with authorities. 

Last month, Elvin Mitchell pleaded guilty to bribing unnamed city officials with more than $1 million in exchange for City of Atlanta construction contracts.

The city has agreed to provide 1.3 million pages in documents related to this investigation by Feb. 10.

READ: Richards' charges:

 

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