GBI Investigating Details of Payments From Atlanta to Fulton DA Howard Who Charged Atlanta Officers with Murder of Brooks

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is looking into $250,000 in payments from the city of Atlanta to Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard during Mayor Kasim Reed’s administration.

GBI agents questioned city officials, including Police Chief Erika Shields and former police chief George Turner, this week after The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News reported that Reed’s administration overrode financial controls and bypassed the City Council in cutting Howard two checks of $125,000 each in 2014 and 2016.

The Atlanta Police Department’s former business manager, Tracy Woodard, said her signature was forged on a document authorizing one of the payments. She acknowledge signing another, but said she did so because she feared being fired.

Woodard said this week that a GBI agent interviewed her on Monday about the same documents that were used as a basis for the AJC/Channel 2 story.

“He just walked through each piece of paper and wrote down his notes,” Woodard said.

Howard has previously called the GBI’s probe an administrative matter and said that he expects to be fully exonerated. Neither he nor Reed responded Tuesday to questions.

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