Two new lawsuits were filed on Friday by airport vendors who missed out on the chance to do business at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The suits follow a foreign currency exchange firm's effort to block the execution of one airport contract until it can review documents related to the procurement process. Greg Land at the Fulton Daily Report's ATLAW blog has the details:
One of the new complaints, filed on behalf of restaurant company SSP America by Ashe Rafuse & Hill attorneys Joseph C. Sharp, Kenneth B. Hodges III and Alex J. Bartko, seeks an injunction ordering the city to preserve any records it has relating to the contracting process, and to force compliance with the ORA until SSP “has had a reasonable time within which to examine the requested documents and prepare an appeal.”
The second, filed on behalf of Midfield Concessions Enterprises, Take-Of Concessions and Atlanta Restaurants by Balch & Bingham attorneys J. Matthew Maguire Jr., Michael J. Bowers and K. Alex Khoury, accuses the city of “flagrant abuses of its own procurement protest process. By refusing to comply with the Georgia Open Records Act, refusing to stay contracts under protest, refusing to give protesters a meaningful hearing at a meaningful time, and by mechanically denying all protests filed regardless of merit, the City has made it a custom and practice to deny basic due process to those disappointed bidders having the audacity to challenge the City’s procurement decisions.”
CL received a copy of the latter filing (PDF), which makes for interesting reading, on Sunday. Interesting to note: Michael Bowers, one of the attorneys representing the disgruntled vendors, is a former Georgia attorney general who, in addition to leading the state's investigation into the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal, also helped guide Billy Corey, an airport vendor who accused City Hall of unfairly denying him an airport advertising contract in 2002 to an eye-popping $17.5 million verdict against the city in 2010. Mayor Kasim Reed announced last April that the city and Corey had agreed to a $3.9 million settlement.
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