Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Former Atlanta deputy chief of staff sentenced to prison in bribery scandal

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Evelyn Katrina Taylor-Parks, the deputy chief of staff for former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, has been sentenced to over a year in prison for her role in the Atlanta City Hall bribery scandal.

The sentencing came after Taylor-Parks collapsed and had to be removed from a courtroom in a wheelchair earlier in January during sentencing.

In 2018 she pleaded guilty in federal court to a bribery conspiracy, admitting that she took payments, a handbag, and trips to Chicago and Mexico from a vendor in return for arranging meetings between the vendor and high-ranking employees within the City of Atlanta, U.S Attorney Byung J. Pak said.

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“Let Ms. Taylor-Parks’ case be a warning to any and all public officials who abuse their power for personal gain, or for the benefit of their associates to the detriment of the taxpayers: we will thoroughly and appropriately investigate such criminal breaches of fiduciary duty and bring them to justice irrespective of the dollar amount of the ill-gotten gain,” Pak. said in a release announcing the sentencing.

Based on the conviction, Parks was sentenced to a year and nine months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. Se was also ordered around $15,000 in restitution.

For the last two and a half years, FBI and IRS agents have been investigating allegations of corruption at Atlanta City Hall. Two city contractors have pleaded guilty to bribery.

Mitzi Bickers, a political consultant for Mayor Kasim Reed and later one of his top department heads, is the only one to plead not guilty to bribery conspiracy charges.

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