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"He had already said that after I leave government, I had nothing to worry about," Reid says.
According to the government, Reid wasn't the only one looking for a little piece of Spectronics' obligation-laden dough. Wallace, 52, allegedly accepted $43,000 from McManus and Rollins. That included a 1998 gift of $25,000 that McManus slipped to Reid in an envelope underneath a table at the Taqueria Guadalajara on Buford Highway. Reid then passed the money to Wallace, according to the indictments and information obtained by CL. In November 1998, Wallace allegedly received the balance -- $18,000 -- from Rollins after his personal banker, the branch manager of the Lakewood branch of SunTrust Bank, Denise Hardin, helped the pair engineer a series of transactions to get around federal banking laws.
Reid says he introduced Wallace to Hardin, but she is not named in the indictments and is not being prosecuted in the corruption investigation. Hardin, who still works for SunTrust, referred CL to her attorney, Seth Kirschenbaum.
Kirschenbaum would not answer questions about the alleged transaction. He issued this statement instead: "Denise Hardin only has a professional interest in the banking activities of her clients. We can't speak for the motives of others but can state that Ms. Hardin has always striven (sic) to conduct herself in a lawful and honorable fashion."
But Reid's plan to ingratiate himself to Campbell by raising money for the campaign appeared to work. During the Christmas holidays in 1997, Reid says he went to Campbell's house in Inman Park to ask for the empowerment zone director's position, and he made sure Campbell remembered the campaign money.
The mayor was less than grateful.
"He told me, 'If I can't find anybody else to do the job, I'll give it to you,'" Reid says. "Of course, he couldn't find anybody else."
And Reid had good timing. White, who had been selected to head the zone, was busy running it into the ground. It was supposed to cost $10 million to administer the Empowerment Zone during its 10-year life, but in three years, White blew through the $4 million the City Council allocated to cover a portion of the zone's costs, and he never lined up the $6 million in private sector funds that was supposed to cover the balance of the decade.
At the same time, White couldn't get the zone's act together to actually spend money on programs to benefit the community. White failed to use virtually any of the $150 million in tax incentives. He left office in January 1998, at the same time three separate federal audits, spawned by allegations of mismanagement and malfeasance, commenced.
Reid became the empowerment zone's director July 13, 1998, after a brief stint as an acting chief.
And he did a decent job. In fact, a massive audit of the zone done by APCO Associates Inc. and commissioned by the city but never made public indicates that Reid brought the zone back from the brink of insolvency. In one of its key findings, the January 2000 report obtained by CL says that "over the past 18 months," the period during which Reid assumed control of the zone, "there has been considerable improvement in the [empowerment zone's] review and approval process ... ." During his tenure, several of the city's most important economic ventures began -- the construction of the North Yards Business Park, the approval of $12.4 million in loans to revamp the Pryor Road corridor and the purchase of the property that is slowly becoming the Historic Westside Village in Vine City.
Reid left the zone in April 2000, and a number of the projects started under his administration are still far from finished.
The FBI and questionable representation
Reid says Dewey Clark turned the feds onto him. Clark, a man who for six years lived in Campbell's basement and later would go on to work for a strip club owner and turn evidence for the feds, identified Reid as a top campaign fund raiser and a facilitator of city deals.
During the summer of 2000, a man named Jerry Free began calling Reid. Free claimed to have a contract pending with the department of public works and to have made contributions to Campbell's 1997 campaign. He also pressed Reid for what he needed to get his new company doing business with the empowerment zone. Reid says he told Free over and over that there was no connection to money and contracts but did inquire about future employment and advised him to hold a fund raiser for the 2000 presidential election, for which Reid was raising money.
To Robert Nebel: In Georgia?! Sh'yeah, right; maybe in another decade when it takes assholes…
Please don't vote for this ignorant douchebag.
"Cobb, a mammoth county that suffers both from an inferiority complex and an inflated ego..."…
i'm still waiting to hear from the 30-year-old norcross man with a blotchy, red face…
My kid goes to a public elementary school with over 90% free lunch. You know…