Friends like these 

Joseph Reid and Vertis McManus will make an uncomfortable pair of co- defendants when they stand before a federal judge Thursday.

Reid, a deputy chief operating officer for former Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell, will be sentenced to prison time for accepting payoffs from McManus, an executive with the technology firm Spectronics. The company also funneled illegal payments to Campbell's 1997 campaign, and former Chief Operating Officer Larry Wallace, in the hopes of landing city contracts.

Former Campbell spokeswoman Glenda Blum Minkin introduced Reid to McManus as a fundraising source during Campbell's successful 1997 mayoral campaign, according to Reid, who established the city's now-defunct Empowerment Zone initiative. In interviews in 2001, Reid said the pair became close, and McManus even introduced him to his current wife.

But things changed when Reid was nabbed as part of a federal sting in the fall of 2000, and in subsequent meetings with prosecutors during 2001, he provided much of the government's case against McManus and Wallace. McManus paid Reid $19,500 through a drug treatment program Reid founded in the Athens area.

According to sentencing guidelines, Reid could get 30-37 months in prison and McManus, 24-30 months. Neither will likely receive the maximum, says U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman Patrick Crosby, because both cooperated with prosecutors. The judge, however, has the final say.

Wallace and former head of administrative services, Herb McCall both were sentenced last week. Wallace received nearly four years in prison and McCall just less than two years. Neither cooperated with prosecutors.



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