Scandal has hit Atlanta City Hall and it is getting serious very fast! Mitzi Bickers – a top Atlanta political specialist, one-time City Hall official and lesbian pastor – is at the point of convergence of a creating government pay off examination that has starting at now caught two of her business accessories.
It’s to a great degree open tumble from political excellence for Bickers, a past Atlanta School Board president who continued running as a straightforwardly LGBT contender in the midst of her unsuccessful attempt in running in 2003 for Fulton County Commission situate.
By and by, since that race, Bickers swung to political managing in two or three states and attempted to turn out voters for Republicans and Democrats. That work included pushing Mayor Kasim Reed over the hump to win his first term as pioneer in a 2009 flood, LGBT matches in Atlanta and a Republican delegate in Mississippi.
Reed later used Bickers and she filled in as the city’s human associations supervisor from 2010 to 2013 going before leaving over a cover up concerning a budgetary revelation diagram. She took after that open association with work in the private division – tries that organization prosecutors are starting at now inspecting.
Bickers was named in an administration subpoena served to Atlanta City Hall. Right when Mayor Kasim Reed’s association made open more than 1.4 million pages of chronicles related to that last week, some place in the scope of 300 boxes of the papers related to Bickers, her associations and advising clients, as showed by reporters.
Since prosecutors issued the subpoena for the reports, they’ve charged two city authoritative laborers – Elvin “E.R.” Mitchell Jr. besides, P. Richards Jr. Mitchell has admitted to plans to present results and wash money; Richards is depended upon to yield to relative charges on Feb. 16. Prosecutors have said the two men gave $1.2 million in prizes to an unknown third person. Bickers was a VP in one of Mitchell’s associations.
On Thursday, Reed put political distance between himself and Bickers.
Reed said, “Regarding Ms. Bickers tenure … she worked on my campaign and helped get me elected mayor,” Reed said at Thursday’s press conference before the documents were released. “That’s true and well known.
“She was given a job between 2010 and 2013 in the office of human services, that’s not an operational department in the city of Atlanta. I thought her background as a pastor made it an appropriate position for her.”
Until the bribery investigation, Bickers kept a low public profile.
“Bickers may not be well-known to the public now, but she has been a star to local and state politicians for several years, and served for 10 years on the Atlanta Board of Education.
A Henry County resident, Bickers’ consulting team primarily worked on Reed’s behalf in southwest Atlanta with sound trucks, robocalls and door-to-door canvassers, she told the reporters at the time. She acknowledged higher turnout in southwest Atlanta helped Reed defeat Norwood: “The hardest vote to turn out is generally the black vote.”
Bickers has worked throughout the region, for a range of generally Democratic Party politicians from Roy Barnes’ 2010 gubernatorial campaign, to Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill’s 2012 win, and Fulton County Superior Court Judge Craig Schwall’s 2014 race, according to state political disclosures.
She is currently paid $37,708 a year as a corrections officer for the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office. It is believed Bickers works as a chaplain at the jail. But Senior Chaplain Stan Owen declined to comment when asked if Bickers worked in his chaplaincy program, which ministers to both corrections officers and inmates.
In 2014, Bickers crossed the state line and was paid tens of thousands of dollars to help Republican Thad Cochran get re-elected in a bitter U.S. Senate race in Mississippi, according to campaign disclosure statements.
Also in 2014, Bickers helped get Tony Yarber elected as mayor of Jackson, Miss.
2012, the Georgia House passed an assurance praising Bickers – a clergyman at Emmanuel Baptist Church where he father once served – for her “capable, effective, unselfish, and conferred open organization and various duties to the State of Georgia.”
Moreover in 2012, Bickers and her Pirouette Companies was at the point of convergence of an ethics discord over $20,000 in portions from a legitimate cheerful. Via the Georgia Voice:
“Stadtlander said when he filed the complaint on July 25 that he didn’t understand why a judicial candidate was apparently paying close to $20,000 to a dance company that offers classes on strip teasing and pole dancing.
The company also offers boot camps and personal fitness training. The website for the dance company was taken down shortly after the ethics complaint was filed and a new website for “Pirouette Companies” is under construction.”
A claim recorded a year earlier in Jackson, Miss., merges certifications that Bickers built occasions and supported battle social gatherings in her common Atlanta home that included strippers. Via the Clarion-Ledger:
“The suit also paints a picture of the parties held by Atlanta businesswoman Mitzi Bickers for Yarber in late 2014. “Ms. Bickers had arranged for a woman to have a sexual relationship with Defendant Yarber,” the suit states.
The filing alleges that on one of these trips, the mayor visited a strip club “where Ms. Bickers paid for everything” and that Bracey was required to “watch the door where Mayor Yarber and one of the strippers went in to be alone.”
The Clarion-Ledger has reported on fundraisers held at Bicker’s home in Jonesboro, Georgia, that went unreported in Yarber’s campaign finance reports. The suit states that “strippers wearing only body paint” greeted guests at her door.
“That’s ridiculous,” Bickers said. “We do regular fundraisers. I’ve never known a fundraiser where sex was solicited.”
Bickers has declined to comment to Atlanta media outlets about the nonstop result examination.