Nation: No Blackwash

A hard decision in Atlanta

When Atlanta's first black mayor, Maynard Jackson, appointed his Morehouse College roommate, A. Reginald Eaves, as the city's first black public safety commissioner in 1974, white critics were quick to charge cronyism. Eaves, a lawyer, didn't make matters easier by hiring a drug addict as his secretary, ordering an $800 love seat for his office and a luxury car for his travels around the city. But Eaves also proved a highly effective and popular official, cutting violent personal crimes by 10% and drastically curbing cases of police brutality.

Then came scandal: two special investigators charged (and Eaves denied)...

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