ATLANTA - There has been a major turnaround for a key player in the ongoing Atlanta Bribery investigation.
Arrest reports indicate Sean Barnes confessed to throwing a brick through the front window of a key witness in the case, warning the witness not to talk. But in court today, Barnes pleaded not guilty and indicated he plans to fight the charges.
“Oh, we anticipate at this point of time to fight it. I don't think the arrest is valid,” said his attorney Ted Salter.
That arrest was back in the fall of 2015. Atlanta Police accused Sean Barnes of throwing a cinder block through the front window of ER Mitchell's home back in 2015. The handwritten warning: Shut Up. Barnes was also accused of spreading dead rats around Mitchell's home.
Why would anyone want to threaten ER Mitchell - a construction contractor? Mitchell recently pleaded guilty in Federal court to paying more than a million dollars to secure Atlanta city contracts.
Mitchell is cooperating with the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Barnes was a one time Atlanta city employee and a business partner with Mitzi Bickers. Bickers is a former city employee and one time fundraiser for Kasim Reed. The FBI has subpoenaed hundreds of boxes of material relating to Mitzi Bicker's work at city hall.
In court, federal prosecutors have yet to identify who Mitchell gave the bribe money to.