Paulding residents seek to add defendants in airport suit

Residents challenging Paulding County’s plans to commercialize its airport are now targeting airport authority and building authority board members in an ongoing lawsuit.

An attorney for the six residents has filed a motion in Paulding County Superior Court seeking to add as defendants in the lawsuit the board members of the Paulding County Airport Authority and the Paulding County Industrial Building Authority, as well as the executive director of both authorities.

The attorney for the residents, Charles McKnight of Taylor English Duma, says in the motion that a new ruling by the Georgia Supreme Court “confirms that citizens can still halt illegal activity and waste by government officials by pursuing claims against them in their individual activities.” The suit is not seeking monetary damages from the authority board members and executive director.

The lawsuit originally filed last year claims that the Industrial Building Authority was created for “a specific and limited purpose — to acquire buildings for use as factories, mills, shops or plants.” It also claims that that the building authority, “ignoring the limited purpose for which it was created,” loaned $1 million to the airport authority to help pay for a taxiway project, and has funded other airport projects.

Attorney Tom Cable, representing the building authority, has argued that the loan fulfilled the authority’s mission of promoting and expanding industry and trade in Paulding and reducing unemployment.

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