Kasim Reed (267182)

Former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is allegedly being investigated by federal authorities as to how he spent money for himself and his security staff during his eight-year reign as the city’s top executive, reports the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The probe reportedly centers on a $40,000 payment Reed made using city funds to cover a “luxury” trip to South Africa. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News (ABC) report that law firm McFadden Davis interviewed Reed after delivering an oral report during a closed-door executive session with the city board about Partners for Prosperity, the nonprofit fundraising arm of Invest Atlanta that accepted $40,000 from the city only to return the money a few months later. The transaction was an attempt by Reed to fulfill his promise to have a non-governmental agency pay for a portion of the expensive airfare. The law firm’s July report found no criminal wrongdoing, Atlanta’s news sources report. But experts in internal investigations and a member of City Council are questioning the thoroughness of the probe. Federal prosecutors, meanwhile, delivered a subpoena to the city last week demanding a copy of the review into Partners for Prosperity. It was the second known federal subpoena naming the charity. Atlanta City Council President Felicia Moore questioned how the Invest Atlanta board could take action based upon a probe that had not even interviewed Reed. “How do you make that determination without talking to the central figure in all of this and that’s the [former] mayor,” Moore said. “It does not make any sense.” The Aug. 22 federal grand jury subpoena seeks “all internal and external audit/investigative reports” related to the charity and the $40,000 payment. The subpoena also seeks all travel, calendar and credit card spending records for all employees of the mayor’s office, as well as those of Reed’s security detail during his eight years in office. It’s unclear what, if any, legal misconduct the feds are examining in relation to the charity. The subpoena is the clearest example to date that Reed and members of his office are under scrutiny in the long-running federal investigation into City Hall corruption. The Invest Atlanta board stripped its CEO, Eloisa Klementich, of her contract and a six-figure buyout clause, based on the law firm’s findings. The report faulted her conduct as it related to charity bylaws and the mixing of her role at the city’s economic development agency. Invest Atlanta retained Klementich as chief executive on an “at-will” basis. Jessica Gabel Cino, a Georgia State University law professor who has conducted similar investigations, said the city’s probe wouldn’t have taken place without Reed’s actions, and it would be critical for the firm to interview the former mayor before issuing findings to the board. Cino said prosecutors’ request for additional documents related to Partners for Prosperity indicates the feds are trying to unravel what she described as “a shell game.”