This post is based on a report given by Rihard Belcher on WSB-TV.
Yesterday, Richard Belcher from WSB Channel 2 reported on another pay-to-play scandal involving Mayor Kasim Reed. Surprisingly, it has nothing to do with airport concessions, or ground transportation. The latest report is in regards to last year’s ice storm and the more than a million dollars paid to a single contractor, a contractor who contributed to Mayor Reed’s campaign.
Greg Wynn gave nearly $7,000 to the Mayor’s campaign, and his company received over $1 million dollars for clearing the roads during the storm. The contract Wynn received was given without a bid. What raises the red flag is the fact that what the City of Atlanta paid Wynn’s company is more than five times more than the entire state paid all private sector contractors for road clearing services.
And that’s not all that is fishy. When Belcher looked into the invoices Wynn’s company submitted, he noticed that they lacked a lot of detail. Wynn charged the city to clear 146 intersections, but there is no record of what those intersections were. If I were going to pay a company over a million dollars for a service, I’d want to make sure I had a detailed record of what I’m paying them for, but apparently the City of Atlanta feels differently.
Now the Mayor has defended himself saying that the City used a private company because it was more efficient and able to meet the demand, but he hasn’t said why that company deserved to make more than five times the combined amount paid to all the state workers.
This incident underscores why pay-to-play reform is so desperately needed in the City of Atlanta. The reasons given for defending the airport bidding process do not apply to this situation. Unless reform is enacted, stories like this will continue to pop up and the Mayor’s administration will continue to look bad. Why not just step up and prevent all this nonsense in the first place by enacting a cap that prevents the appearance of impropriety? But I know one thing for sure, we all should go out and buy snow plows, cause I sure could use a million bucks…