Atlanta wins case over airport concessions contract records, meetings

A Fulton County Superior Court judge ruled in favor of the City of Atlanta on a number of claims in a case where a concessionaire argued the city violated the Georgia open records and open meetings acts in its $3 billion round of contracts for restaurants and shops at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

Ken Hodges, an attorney for concessionaire SSP America Inc., argued in the case before Judge Cynthia Wright that “there ought to be scrutiny” in the concessions contracting.

Mark Trigg, an attorney representing the city, argued the city used “Herculean efforts” to provide records and that committees evaluating concessions proposals were not subject to the open meetings act.

Wright dismissed SSP’s open meetings act and open records act claims, except for a claim for sanctions and attorneys’ fees on the open records issue. That will be argued at a future hearing. Wright also dismissed a constitutional challenge to the city’s procurement process and claims against the mayor, airport manager and procurement chief.

In her decision, Wright noted SSP will have an opportunity to make its arguments in a separate case to challenge the city’s contracting process.

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