Reed and fired airport manager Miguel Southwell drop dispute

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Reed and fired airport manager Miguel Southwell drop dispute

More than three months after Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed fired the manager of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and the two exchanged legal threats, they have dropped their dispute and withdrawn allegations of improper actions.

Atlanta airport manager Miguel Southwell was fired in May and hired a law firm known for wrongful termination suits and whistleblower cases. That firm, Parks Chesin & Walbert, launched an investigation into the termination and sought documents from the city.

A letter from attorney Lee Parks to the city said Southwell was told his dismissal was due to recent long lines at the airport, but suggested the mayor’s office wanted more control over airport contracts.

Reed in June told Channel 2 Action News, “I could have pressed charges against him if I had chosen to do so.”

But on Tuesday, attorneys for the city and for Southwell issued a joint statement saying: “The dispute is now over.”

“They both now agree that neither of them engaged in any civil or criminal wrongdoing, and any statements that could have been interpreted to the contrary are disavowed,” the statement says. “Mr. Southwell has recognized that neither the Mayor nor any other city official engaged in any improper activity…. they both now believe that their differences were more a matter of style than substance.”

The mayor’s office said no payment was made to Southwell.

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