Atlanta corruption case reaches Jackson
Last month the federal indictment against Mitzi Bickers was updated to include some shocking allegations about former Jackson mayor Tony Yarber’s administration. This should be nothing new to readers of the Northside Sun. We first reported on this scandal years ago and called for Mississippi’s U.S. Attorney’s Office to take action.
The Jackson FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office have yet to take action, but the Atlanta feds have. Count 3 of their updated indictment details a bribery scheme that Bickers was working on in Jackson in 2014. Atlanta businessman Elvin Mitchell and other Atlanta political operatives provided the money.
The indictment reads:
“In or about March and April 2014, Bickers assisted a candidate with his campaign for mayor of the City of Jackson. In or about April 22, 2014, the candidate was elected Mayor of the City of Jackson. In or about March, April, and July 2014 and in or about February 2015, Bickers, Mitchell, Richards, and K.J. all wrote checks made payable to the Mayor's election committee. Bickers, Mitchell, Richards and K.J. spread these payments between various personal and corporate accounts.
“Bickers attempted to enrich herself and others by obtaining lucrative government contracts with the City of Jackson, Mississippi through the provision of money, goods and services to public officials intending to influence and reward.
“Beginning in or about March 2014, Bickers hosted parties and paid for food, airline flights, hotels, chauffeured car services, entertainment, fundraisers and campaign services for the Mayor and other City of Jackson officials in an effort to influence and reward these public officials. Mitchell helped to fund many of these activities.”
Other legal documents make reference to trips to strip clubs and the hiring of strippers at private parties hosted by Bickers. The contracts involved a proposed downtown Jackson convention center hotel and a big wastewater treatment contract.
This is the same Mitzi Bickers Republicans hired to get out the African American voters to defeat Chris McDaniels in his race against Thad Cochran.
The Northside Sun reported extensively about these shady deals and as a result won Mississippi’s top award for investigative reporting. We have done our job. We now call upon the Jackson FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office to work in conjunction with their colleagues in Atlanta to get to the bottom of this scandal and take the appropriate prosecutorial action.