ATLANTA – A federal jury has convicted former City of Atlanta Commissioner of Watershed Management Jo Ann Macrina for accepting bribes from an Atlanta contractor in exchange for steering city business worth millions of dollars to the contractor’s company.
“Jo Ann Macrina betrayed the citizens of Atlanta by accepting cash, luxury items, and the promise of a future job in return for steering lucrative City of Atlanta contracts to a local businessman,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan. “Public officials who enrich themselves at the expense of the citizens they are pledged to serve exact a heavy toll on taxpayers, the economy, and the public trust. We remain committed to prosecuting officials who violate their oath to the public.”
“Circumventing the process to hire contractors for the city by accepting bribes to profit personally is the highest form of public corruption,” said Keri Farley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “As this verdict shows, the people of the City of Atlanta and the FBI will not tolerate anyone who takes advantage of city funds and abuses their position of trust.”
According to U.S. Attorney Buchanan, the charges and other information presented in court: Jo Ann Macrina served as the Commissioner of Atlanta’s Department of Watershed Management from 2011 through May 2016. During Macrina’s tenure, the City of Atlanta awarded contracts worth millions of dollars to PRAD Group Inc. (PRAD Group), an architectural, design, and construction management and services firm based in Atlanta. To ensure that PRAD Group received city business worth millions of dollars, Macrina replaced two evaluators who previously represented the Department of Watershed Management with herself and another individual and engaged in other efforts to alter scores that had previously been assigned to potential contractors.
Macrina also discussed potential employment with and accepted things of value from Lohrasb “Jeff” Jafari, who was the executive vice president of PRAD Group. In exchange, Macrina provided Jafari with access to confidential information and preferential treatment with respect to City of Atlanta projects.
Macrina accepted $10,000 in cash, jewelry, a room at a luxury hotel in Dubai, and landscaping work at her home from Jafari either directly or through another employee of PRAD Group. Shortly after Macrina’s employment with the City of Atlanta ended she began working for Jafari and PRAD Group. Between June 2016 and September 2016, Jafari and/or PRAD Group paid Macrina $30,000 in four separate payments.
Jo Ann Macrina, 65, of Daytona Beach Shores, Florida, was convicted of conspiracy and federal program bribery. She is scheduled to be sentenced at a later date.
The FBI Atlanta Field Office and IRS Criminal Investigation investigated the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathan P. Kitchens and Trial Attorney Jolee Porter of the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section are prosecuting the case.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.