ATLANTA – There are new charges filed in the federal corruption investigation of Atlanta City Hall. Katrina Taylor-Parks, who served as deputy chief of staff to former Mayor Kasim Reed, was charged with conspiracy to commit bribery. A criminal information unsealed Wednesday morning accused Parks of accepting bribes in 2013 from an unidentified city vendor. The money was provided to either Parks, or her husband DeAnthony Parks, according to the charging document.
Katrina Taylor-Parks was scheduled to make a first appearance before a federal magistrate Wednesday afternoon. The appearance was postponed after Parks’ attorney, Jay Strongwater, told the judge that Parks is in the hospital for an undisclosed medical condition.
The complaint also states that Parks signed financial disclosures with the city “falsely attesting that she was not self-employed or employed by any business or entity other than the city.”
In April, federal prosecutors subpoenaed records from City Hall related to Parks and her husband, DeAnthony Parks, who is also a city of Atlanta employee.
The subpoena for Katrina Taylor-Parks sought personnel records, financial disclosure and ethics statements and requests for permission by Parks to seek outside employment. Prosecutors demanded her travel records and reimbursements from 2011 to 2017, as well as her requests and approvals for leave.
As 2UrbanGirls continues its investigative series into Inglewood City Hall, readers will find that members of key departments, have also lined their pockets from select city businesses who either regularly appear on the city council agenda or have been allowed to operate illegally under the purview of the law and health and safety codes.
Rumors continue to swirl through the city of Champions that Mayor James Butts highly paid assistant, Melanie McDade, serves as an intermediary between city vendors and businesses who regularly contribute to the mayor’s campaign and she aids in their avoiding paying mandated local taxes to the city’s Finance Department. McDade accomplishes this with the assistance of Finance Manager Maria Heaney. Mayor Butts and council approved a plethora of “bonuses” to senior staffers back in January 2017, which is eerily similar to charges being levied against former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.
A confidential investigative report obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution says that former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s administration, along with the City Council, violated the state Constitution by paying roughly $800,000 in bonuses just before Reed left office in December.
The 90-page report from the Thompson Hine LLP law firm also says the Reed administration violated the city’s charter by handing out the awards and probably ran afoul of the city’s Code of Ordinances, although reaching an absolute determination in that area was impossible because of “vague and ambiguous language” in the ordinances.