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crooked politicians

A. Reginald Eaves


reggie eavesReggie Eaves, now a candidate for the Atlanta City Council, hit the headlines three decades ago over a police cheating scandal. He hit the slammer 10 years later after a federal jury convicted him of extorting developers as a Fulton County commissioner. For the curious, we have dug up the parole board’s 1998 decision that allows Eaves to vote again and run for office (but no guns, Reggie).

Eaves served as Atlanta’s public safety commissioner under Mayor Maynard Jackson, a college fraternity brother, until scandal forced Eaves to resign in 1978. Investigators said Eaves and others had been involved in distributing advance copies of a promotional exam to selected officers.

He bounced back in 1980, winning election to the Fulton County Commission. But in 1984, sewer and pipeline contractor Charles Edward Wood told FBI agents he had paid Eaves to help his projects get county clearances. The FBI set up a dummy corporation, bought an option on some property and, through intermediary Al Johnson, approached Eaves for help in getting the land rezoned.

According to the ruling on Eaves’ appeal of his 1988 conviction:

On June 4, [1985,] the day before the vote was scheduled, Johnson again met privately with Eaves and asked him how much money he required for a favorable vote. Johnson testified that Eaves held up his hand to demonstrate the number five and nodded in the affirmative when Johnson asked, “$5,000?” On June 5, the Board approved rezoning the Peters Pond project subject to submission of a new petition requesting zoning for single family homes in lieu of the suggested apartment dwellings. On June 19, Al Johnson paid Eaves $5,000 in cash. On September 4, the Board reconsidered the Peters Pond project pursuant to the new petition and granted rezoning.

Later, an FBI agent posing as developer “Steve Hawkins,” asked Eaves for help to get rezoning for another parcel.

On August 3, 1987, Eaves told “Hawkins” that for $30,000 “to split” he would have his R-5 classification for the Fox Road property. “Hawkins” agreed and on August 5, when the Fox Road property came before the Board, Eaves moved that it be granted as submitted and voted in favor of an R-5 zoning classification.

Eaves and “Hawkins” met in a suite at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Atlanta on August 11, 1987, where he offered partial payment in the amount of ten thousand dollars. Eaves refused, telling “Hawkins” to keep the money until he had the entire thirty thousand. Later in the day, Eaves changed his mind and accepted the ten thousand. On September 4, “Hawkins” paid Eaves the remainder of the agreed upon amount.

In 1988, Eaves was convicted of taking $5,000 from Wood and the $30,000 in the two 1987 payments from “Hawkins.” An appellate court threw out one of the Hawkins counts as duplicative since it involved the same deal.

Fun fact: The late Milton Farris, a fellow county commissioner who sat next to Eaves at meetings, once told me that Eaves was in the habit of packing heat at commission meetings. Eaves carried a gun in an ankle holster, which Farris said he could see when Eaves would cross his legs and his pants leg would ride up.





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9 Responses to “A. Reginald Eaves”

  1. lighteredknot says:

    A typical Atlanta political crook wanting us to support him.

  2. Magaroni says:

    Good lord, I wasn’t even old enough to follow the news in 1988, but enough entered my subconscious that the name “Reginald Eaves” rings the criminal bell. Come on, this guy isn’t electable is he?? But then, he has uh, name recognition…

  3. jv says:

    its why electing wealthy people (or at least self made wealthy people) is a better idea. at least they cant be bribed. ya think anyone tries to bribe Mike Bloomberg?

  4. CJ says:

    I’m voting for Eaves.1

  5. VO says:

    Ive known him all my life and he has dedicated his lfe to service of others. For the past two decades he has been working for non profit and activist efforts on behalf of the shut in, sick, needy, non-privaliged and minorities. We all make mistakes. Its no different than the millions and half million dollar contributions every member of congress gets from major corporation. Its not because they genuinely support those canidates its because they want favorable votes on there isssues.

  6. VO says:

    I support him and he will have my vote.

  7. VO says:

    JV they might not bribe bloomberg but he has rich friends who need favors. When u use ur own money for ur campaign it means u r responsible to no one but urself. Rich people will make laws favorable to the rich and execute laws that represent there shallow view of the world.

  8. Kelly Starnes says:

    He knows what he did. Shame on you for many reasons. I’m sure he’ll always remember what he did to my Mother ( Donna Starnes ) and I’ll never ever forget it.

  9. butch burton says:

    I still remember Mayor Maynard Jackson making a speech about A Reginald Eaves on the 6 PM news many years ago. The mayor read a firing speech and after each summary of Eave’s activities in the police exam cheating scandal, the mayor would say, “I am not going to fire him for that.

    Wow everyone was absolutely transfixed by this event. Finally Ron Hudspeth of the AJC identified what happened. Evidently just before the live televised announcement, the mayor old college frat brother told the mayor if he was fired, he would let the press have some pictures that were taken of he and the mayor that were en flagrante delicato.

    HA HA HA – my memories every time I go to Hartsfield – La Gaurdia evokes pleasant memories of the little flower who used to read comic strips to children.

    Any port in a storm and we did have a stormy neighbor – no worse than the crook who proceeded him and how about the magic raincoat of a US Senator.

    Ah yes something here for each and all no matter your persuasion.