A former Atlanta city official who was convicted earlier this year of money laundering will report to prison to begin serving a 14-year sentence today, Nov. 8.
Atlanta’s former Director of Human Services, Mitzi Bickers, was convicted earlier this year of money laundering, conspiracy to commit bribery and wire fraud, among other charges.
The openly lesbian Baptist preacher was arrested in April 2018 and plead not guilty to a 12-count federal indictment. She was convicted in March on nine of 12 charges, including filing false federal income tax returns.
She was sentenced to 14 years in prison in September.
Bickers, pictured here, worked in city government for decades.
The well-connected political campaigner helped Kasim Reed win his first term as mayor by defeating Mary Norwood in a 2009 runoff.
Reed showed his gratitude by hiring Bickers as the city’s human services director in 2010.
Bickers was later accused of accepting $2 million in cash from two contractors in exchange for city contracts.
In return for the cash, prosecutors alleged she steered some $17 million in sidewalk, bridge work and snow removal contracts to contractors Elvin “E.R.” Mitchell Jr. and Charles P. Richards Jr.
In addition to the $2 million in bribes to Bickers, the feds say Mitchell funneled over $800,000 into 4 bank accounts she controlled.
According to documents, Bickers’ spent the money on vacations to Aruba, Disney resorts and on Carnival cruise lines. She also opened several businesses, which closed after a few months, including Derrty South Entertainment, a strip club on the Mexican border in Texas.
In June 2011, Bickers purchased a $775,000 home on Lake Spivey in Jonesboro, Ga. Her neighbors included rapper T.I. and Married to Medicine‘s Mariah Huq.
According to AJC.com, Bickers paid for the 5 bedroom house in 2 large installments of $524,000 in June 2011 and $251,000 in cash less than a year later.
Her new home, courtesy of the federal government, will be far less luxurious.
She is expected to report to FCI Marianna at noon Tuesday. The facility is a medium security prison, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons website. It is located in Marianna, Florida, about a 4 hour drive from Atlanta.
In a Facebook live-stream on Sunday, Bickers, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in southeast Atlanta, seemed in good spirits. She preached and sang with her congregation.
“Somebody asked me last night, ‘You know, how is it that you haven’t lost your mind?’ I said I did, I lost it a long time ago when I took on the mind of Christ,” she told the congregation.
Watch the video below.