The U.S. Department of Justice has taken over the handling of a Federal Aviation Administration subpoena of Atlanta airport records.
Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is run by the City of Atlanta, and city officials contended that some records were subject to attorney-client privilege.
The FAA in April subpoenaed legal invoices from the Atlanta airport as the agency prepares for an audit of the airport’s finances and investigates the potential misuse of airport revenue.
The FAA referred the matter to the Justice Department last month, according to an e-mail with the subject line “Enforcement of FAA subpoena - ATL” from an FAA attorney to a lawyer representing the airport.
A spokesman for the city said in an e-mail to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the matter “is being handed over as part of the negotiations/resolution of providing the requested documents and maintaining privilege. It is not enforcement.”
Hartsfield-Jackson is one of a handful of airports across the country selected for a financial compliance review. It’s the first such review for the Atlanta airport.
The airport was notified of the audit after the FAA launched an investigation into the city of Atlanta’s possible misuse of airport revenue, following an Atlanta Journal-Constitution article that detailed how the city used millions of dollars in airport revenue to pay lawyers to respond to subpoenas from a grand jury investigation into corruption at Atlanta City Hall.
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