ATLANTA — Kasim Reed’s former Deputy Chief of Staff was sentenced to 21 months in prison for conspiracy to commit bribery this afternoon.
During the reading of her sentence, Katrina Taylor-Parks collapsed in the courtroom and was eventually taken out of the courthouse on a stretcher by EMT's.
Taylor-Parks is the closest person to the former Mayor Reed to be sentenced, so far.
In August, she pleaded guilty to accepting money from a construction contractor in exchange for steering projects their way. US Attorney Byung J. ‘Bjay’ Pak has said Taylor-Parks is cooperating with their investigation.
In court today, prosecuting attorneys said Taylor-Parks accepted $15,000 in cash, a Louis Vuitton handbag, and a trip to Chicago from the contractor. Attorney said she met the contractor while she was in an MBA program at Georgia Tech. She accepted bribes over an 18-month period, according to the U.S. Attorney.
The 21-month sentence was less than prosecutors could have asked for. They requested a lesser sentence because Taylor-Parks is cooperating with their investigation. Her attorney said she's provided information to investigators through at least twenty interviews. The U.S. Attorney also confirmed she has given them recordings as part of her cooperation with them.
Taylor-Parks is the second City of Atlanta worker to be sentenced in the bribery probe. Adam Smith, the city’s former chief purchasing officer, is serving time for accepting bribes from construction contractors.
Mitzi Bickers, a mid-level City of Atlanta employee with close ties to Mayor Kasim Reed, has plead not guilty in the bribery scandal. Investigators allege she took $2 million from contractors in exchange for steering projects towards them. Bickers is a well-known preacher and political consultant. She was instrumental in getting Reed elected as mayor, using ground-roots efforts to mobilize voters. After his election, Reed appointed her to a position as Human Services Director in City Hall. She's also been charged for a similar scandal in a Mississippi town.
Two contractors, C.P. Richards and E.R. Mitchell, are both serving time for paying bribes to land construction contracts. They have also cooperated with investigators.
When asked today if more indictments were forthcoming, the U.S. Attorney said the investigation was continuing.