February 4, 2023

Volume XIII, Number 35

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February 03, 2023

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February 02, 2023

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Former City of Atlanta Official Convicted for Accepting Bribes

A federal jury convicted the former City of Atlanta Commissioner of Watershed Management today (October 14, 2022) for accepting bribes from an Atlanta contractor in exchange for steering city business worth millions of dollars to the contractor’s company.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Jo Ann Macrina, 65, of Daytona Beach Shores, Florida, 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., an architectural, design, and construction management and services firm based in Atlanta. In order 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.

The evidence presented at trial established that 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 for providing 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.

Macrina was convicted of conspiracy and federal program bribery. Her sentencing will be scheduled at a later date. She faces up to 15 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan for the Northern District of Georgia; Special Agent in Charge Keri Farley of the FBI Atlanta Field Office; and Assistant Special Agent in Charge Lisa Fontanette of the IRS Criminal Investigation made the announcement.

The FBI Atlanta Field Office and IRS Criminal Investigation investigated the case.

Trial Attorney Jolee Porter of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathan P. Kitchens for the Northern District of Georgia are prosecuting the case.

Topic(s): Public Corruption

Component(s): Criminal DivisionCriminal - Public Integrity SectionFederal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) , USAO - Georgia, Northern

See Original Press Release Number: 22-1104

© 2023 The U.S. Department of JusticeNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 289
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The mission of the Department of Justice (DOJ) is to uphold the rule of law, to keep our country safe, and to protect civil rights.

Independence and Impartiality.  The Justice Department works each day to earn the public’s trust by following the facts and the law wherever they may lead, without prejudice or improper influence. 

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