ATLANTA – An Atlanta Inspector General claims the former mayor may owe the City $83,000 for expenses paid on behalf of Kasim Reed by city officials after he left office.
In a 14-page report released Friday, Atlanta IG Shannon Manigault said city tax dollars were used to pay more than $24,000 for COBRA health insurance after Reed left office; $40,000 as “reimbursement” to the city for a trip to South Africa Reed and his staff took in 2017; and an $18,500 donation made to Howard University.
The council never authorized the COBRA payment and was misled about the nature of the payments for the trip reimbursement and the Howard donation, according to the IG report.
A spokeswoman for the former mayor responded the City may in fact owe Reed considering he declined a pay raise during his second term.
“This report did not reference the more than $50,000 that was donated to the Mayor’s Youth Scholarship Program as a result of deferring his pay raise,” Reed’s spokeswoman said in a statement. “These funds were used for the purpose of advancing economic development and helping Atlanta students attend college. Anything to suggest otherwise, is simply incorrect.”
Reed previously said the money for all the expenses cited in the IG report came from an account that held deferred income from a raise he declined to accept in 2014. But the IG investigation found all the funds actually came from departmental accounts: The COBRA payments came from a mayor’s office account; the South Africa reimbursement and the Howard University donation came from an account in the Human Resources Department.
“Reed’s COBRA payments and the (city’s $18,500) donation to Howard University potentially run afoul of state and municipal laws,” the report says. The IG report added that the account purportedly holding the incremental raise in Reed’s salary was never actually created.
The newspaper previously reported on a $40,000 donation made by the city of Atlanta to a dormant nonprofit, and traced how the money came back to the city months later to cover business-class travel for city staff who accompanied former Mayor Kasim Reed on a controversial trip to South Africa.
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