Atlanta City Council President Felicia Moore wants the city to look into the spending habits of former Chief Financial Officer James “Jim” Beard.
She is asking Atlanta to audit his spending activities after an Atlanta newspaper reported he spent $2,600 in city funds on two AR-15 rifles in 2015, claiming he was buying them on behalf of the Atlanta Police Department.
“Findings from the ongoing investigations continue to be disturbing,” Moore said in a news release. “As it pertains to the most recent allegations against the former CFO, these revelations highlight the need for both the public and city council to fully understand the scope of actions taken by the former CFO wherein internal controls were overridden. This is the reasonable next step toward identifying where our processes are deficient and determining the corrective action needed to ensure fiscal responsibility.”
Moore presented her concerns and recommendations in a letter to City Auditor Amanda Noble, and it was shared with the council at its Aug. 19 meeting at City Hall downtown. Beard’s actions of keeping the guns while claiming he was buying them on behalf of the police could violate federal and state laws.
Beard left his post in 2018, but that year he was allowed to take a six-week business management training program at Harvard University costing $60,000 in city funds in his final two months on the job. His salary during that time was also covered by the city.
In 2017 he also used his city-issued credit card to pay $10,000 for a Paris hotel stay and $8,000 for a restaurant tab following a going-away party for Mayor Kasim Reed and his cabinet.