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Ex-Atlanta official convicted of corruption gets 14 years in prison

Mitzi Bickers will also have three years of supervised release after her prison sentence.

ATLANTA — UPDATE: Mitzi Bickers, the former Atlanta city Director of Human Services, will spend 14 years in federal prison. She was convicted earlier this year on numerous charges of money laundering, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit bribery.

Her sentence included three years of supervised release and she will be required to pay the city of Atlanta restitution in the amount of $2.955 million.

She was released from court on Thursday to house arrest, wearing an ankle monitor, until the Bureau of Prisons takes her into custody.

Original story below

Mitzi Bickers, the ex-Atlanta city official who was convicted earlier this year on numerous corruption charges, will be sentenced on Thursday.

Bickers, the former Atlanta city Director of Human Services, was found guilty on nine charges following a federal trial in March, including three money laundering counts, four wire fraud counts and a conspiracy to commit bribery count.

Prosecutors in court Thursday asked for Bickers to receive a sentence of 17 and a half years. Federal sentencing guidelines show the judge could have sentenced Bickers to serve between 24-30 years, while her attorneys are asking for leniency, emphasizing her community involvement.

Bickers was indicted back in 2018, accused of using "her influence as a high-ranking City of Atlanta official and later as a connected political consultant to steer lucrative city contracts" to two contractors in exchange for bribes.

RELATED: Former Atlanta city official convicted on several counts in corruption case

"The illicit arrangement netted over $2 million in bribes for Bickers and almost $17 million in city contracts," for the contractors she had allegedly conspired with, the U.S. Attorney's Office said at the time.

The contractors, Elvin Mitchell and Charles Richards, pleaded guilty to paying the bribes and were sentenced to federal prison time.

Then-U.S. Attorney Byung J. "BJay" Pak also further alleged that after Mitchell began cooperating with the FBI, Bickers "played a role" in an incident where a man threw a concrete block through a window at Mitchell's home with a note saying: "Keep your mouth shut!"

Bickers was later indicted in a separate case involving bribes in Jackson, Mississippi.

She was one of several officials in the administration of former Mayor Kasim Reed who ultimately were charged in a range of corruption cases.

Former city Chief Procurement Officer Adam Smith and Reed's Deputy Chief of Staff Katrina Taylor-Parks, pleaded guilty to taking bribes and were given federal prison sentences. 

Larry Scott, the City of Atlanta's former director of the Office of Contract Compliance, entered a guilty plea for wire fraud and filing false tax returns. He was sentenced to two years in prison.

Jim Beard, the city CFO, was also indicted on federal fraud charges in 2020. No trial has begun in his case.


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