JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — One of the biggest names in the Atlanta bribery investigation pleaded not guilty to more charges Monday.
Mitzi Bickers did not show up to court, but her lawyers entered a not guilty plea to new charges. A federal grand jury indicted Bickers last month.
The Clarion Ledger reports she is accused of bribing Jackson officials in an attempt to obtain contracts for a proposed convention center hotel and management of the city’s wastewater program under a federal consent decree.
Some of the schemes she’s accused of taking part of in Atlanta are similar to those she’s accused of in Jackson.
Bickers donated thousands of dollars to the campaign of Jackson’s former mayor, Tony Yarber. She’s also accused of providing Yarber with accommodations for a trip to New Orleans, which were allegedly paid for through her company.
Bickers has been a power player in Atlanta politics for decades. She was a highly sought-after political consultant who was instrumental in getting former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed elected. After his election, he appointed her human services director for the City of Atlanta. In 2014 she left.
The Mississippi allegations come after her time with the Reed administration.
The indictment alleges Bickers started getting bribes from Elvin Mitchel and C.P. Richards – the two Atlanta contractors who have already pleaded guilty to bribing city officials. She allegedly took the money to host parties with entertainment. Federal authorities didn’t go into details about the entertainment.
However, a federal lawsuit from a few years ago claimed Bickers hosted a where strippers wearing only body paint were present.
In the Atlanta City Hall scandal, Bickers was indicted this summer on bribery charges. She’s the only one charged who pleaded not guilty. Bickers is accused of accepting around $1 million in bribe money in exchange for steering construction contracts with the city.
Prosecutors allege Bickers bought a plethora of luxury items with her bribe money including jet skis, a $700,000+ lake-front home, a $40,000+ Denali luxury SUV, and vacations to Aruba and on Carnival cruise lines.
She is also a well-known Atlanta minister, preaching at Emmanuel Baptist Church.
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