Atlanta agency head reprimanded, but keeps job, after review of spendingInvest Atlanta, the city's development authority, is looking to find foreign nationals who will invest in Atlanta developments in exchange for U.S. residency. File/Credit: Maggie Lee
By Maggie Lee
Eloisa Klementich will stay on as leader of Atlanta’s development authority, but loses her employment contract after a review of a nonprofit that’s linked to the agency and Klementich herself.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms terminated Klementich’s contract yesterday, after a nearly three-hour, closed-door meeting of Invest Atlanta’s board, which included both women.
So Klementich will continue working as president and CEO, but as an at-will employee. Should Klementich later be fired, she wouldn’t be entitled to what’s outlined in a 2017 contract, including the possibility of severance pay worth at least $618,000 in the case of termination without cause.
What triggered the review is Klementich’s role as CFO of Partners for Prosperity, a nonprofit that shares an address with Invest Atlanta. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has reported that Partners for Prosperity spent $40,000 to pay for a controversial trip by then-Mayor Kasim Reed and others to South Africa in 2017. The $40,000 came from a 2017 City Council appropriation of money that Reed had declined to take for a raise.
City Hall received a federal subpoena asking for records on Klementich and Partners for Prosperity in April.
The Invest Atlanta board then voted to “review” Partners for Prosperity.
According to a statement from Bottoms’ office, that review fond no criminal violations of law and no malfeasance in the transaction. But it did determine that Klementich failed to adhere to Partners for Prosperity’s board governance standards.
“Dr. Klementich’s vision and leadership have helped Atlanta attract new businesses and fortify affordable housing in the city. But along with that transformational progress comes an unflinching demand for accountability,” said Bottoms in a written statement.
“Dr. Klementich is aware of the gravity of the Board’s concerns and has been strongly reminded of the expectations of transparency and fiscal stewardship in all matters with Invest Atlanta and its partners,” the statement concludes.