ATLANTA - As Mayor Kasim Reed was leaving office last December, more than a half a million dollars in year-end bonuses and Christmas party contest winnings was paid to dozens of employees working for Mayor Reed.
Those bonuses ranged from $5,000 to $15,000 dollars per employee. Employees ranged from the Mayor's scheduler to department heads and Commissioners.
Our FOX 5 I-Team found video shot by a city employee and posted on her Instagram page of a year-end Christmas luncheon. It shows Mayor Reed announcing contest winners, and the room full of employees erupting in celebration.
City records obtained by the FOX 5 I-team through an Open Records request show 26 winners - of a Lip Sync contest got a total of some $28,000.
"Oh my gosh. For the lip sync contest. $30,000," said Henderson.
Three Ugly Sweater Contest winners won a total of $2104. I'm told one had a picture of mayoral candidate Mary Norwood on their sweater.
Then another 34 staffers got bonuses ranging from $500 to $3000 bringing the holiday contests and bonus total to $68,067.
"Taxpayers should be disgusted with that," says the director of the good government group, Common Cause.
But there is more. A lot more.
According to records provided by the city, Mayor Reed gave 33 members of the Executive Branch year-end bonuses ranging from $5000 to $15,000. The total: $335,000.
"Oh, my word. Oh, my word," said Henderson.
Another $32,500 dollars in bonuses went to the Mayor's executive protection team, the guys who drove him around town, in the Mayor' $90,000 SUVs, and protected him from threats, or sometimes reporter’s questions.
(They are hard-working officers, they have a tough job.) "So were the officers that work out on the beat, every day," answered Henderson.
And it wasn't just the Mayor. Records showed former Human Resources Commissioner Yvonne Yancy paid another $57,500 to her top staffers. That's doesn't include the $15,000 bonus she got from the Mayor.
"Good grief," said Henderson
Add it all up and it comes to $518,067.
"The worst part of it is, the huge amount of money that has gone to these folks and Mayor Reed has not been held accountable or culpable for these actions," said Henderson.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms' spokesperson said the bonus decisions "were made without input from the current Administration." And, Mayor Bottoms vows to evaluate how "City business can be conducted in a transparent and responsible manner."
"That's not good enough, saying we're doing better in the future. She should put out a pledge saying no more bonuses."