Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms who is accused of violating the city charter is now accusing the Atlanta City Council of violating the city charter by investigating her alleged violations.
In November, Bottoms was accused of violating the city charter - Atlanta's governing document - by hiring former Atlanta City Councilman Kwanza Hall as a $137,000-a-year senior policy adviser, according to records obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution through the Georgia Open Records Act.
Now Mayor Bottoms has vetoed a City Council investigation into her use of city funds to pay her campaign staff salaries for jobs that do not exist.
In an article dated March 17, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution found that six of Bottoms' top campaign members were issued payments in December 2017 for jobs that didn't exist.
The former campaign staffers were given job titles based on desired salaries, not on job qualifications.
The AJC found that Bottoms' former campaign manager Marva Lewis was paid out of airport funds even though she didn't work at Atlanta's Hartsfield Airport. Using airport funds to pay for non-airport expenditures is a violation of FAA regulations.
According to the AJC, Bottoms sent a letter to the City Council that vetoed a council resolution requesting an investigation into how top members of her campaign staff were placed on the city payroll.
In her letter, Bottoms accused the City Council of violating the city charter because it allowed the city auditor and ethics officer to hire an outside law firm to assist in their investigation.
According to the AJC, the city auditor and ethics officer can launch their own investigations independent of the mayor and the City Council.
In a letter obtained by the AJC, the City Auditor Amanda Noble said she and the ethics officer planned to move forward with their investigations without outside legal assistance.
"To address the Mayor's concern, we will not seek outside legal advice or draw conclusions regarding the legality of the transactions," Noble wrote. "If so desired, the City Council can follow its established process to hire outside counsel to review our findings."
Mayor Bottoms, who was unaware of Nobles' letter, wrote late Tuesday, "At this hour, it is evident the Council has no desire to rectify the violations."
Bottoms sent another letter to the council on Friday stating the council's resolution was invalid and that any findings would be invalid because the council's investigation into her alleged wrongdoing was unlawful.
Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images