Atlanta Takes Steps to Curb Legacy of Corruption
While the $800,000 budget is a far cry from the Council’s requested $1.4 million, the newly-established office has hopes of tacking city-wide corruption allegations amounting to an eye-watering $10 million, according to an ongoing FBI investigation. That $10 million of fraudulent spending is roughly equal to the amount Bottoms has committed to affordable housing development next year.
Political theatre aside, the creation of the compliance office is a momentous win for the future of Atlanta politics. The city’s exuberant contracts, luxurious dinners (including a $12,000 holiday party), and massive bonuses for city officials earned Atlanta a reputation as one of the most corrupt cities in the country.
The compliance office mirrors recent initiatives in Philadelphia, Chicago and Austin to curb corruption at the city government level. Regulators will be overseen by an independent, non-government seven-member board—rightfully taking politics out of the equation.
Voters deserve an ethical government that works for everyone. Our political system has rules for a reason, and it’s time Atlanta has the tools to enforce them.