Losing Atlanta airport vendor bidder drops protest against city - KMSP-TV

FOX 5 I-Team investigates

Losing Atlanta airport vendor bidder drops protest against city

Posted: Updated:
ATLANTA -

The city of Atlanta has scored a major victory in its ongoing court battle over the billion dollar airport concession bids.  The largest and last company to protest the bids has dismissed its legal action.

SSP has fought legal battle after battle with the city all year. The concessionaire's initial bid protest had made its way into the court system. Now, after lengthy settlement talks, it is over.

After months of legal battles and accusations of political cronyism, SSP has dismissed its legal action against the city.

"We knew we were correct. We know that we followed all the rules and today we are vindicated," said Atlanta city attorney Cathy Hampton.

The lawsuit followed a long and controversial bid process that determined what you eat, drink and buy at  Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

Some of the biggest bid winners, who combined picked up more than a billion dollars in potential revenue, were politically connected fundraisers and friends of Mayor Kasim Reed, incuding the mayor's campaign chairman, Daniel Halpern, and Mayor Maynard Jackson's widow, Valerie.
 
SSP, a large international airport concession company challenged the bids calling them fraudulent and corrupt. A hearing officer ruled in favor of the city, finding no evidence of flaws in the system or that Mayor Reed interfered with the bid process.

SSP appealed their case in Superior Court, but, now months later, have dismissed it. In a written statement, Mayor Reed stated SSP publicly admits "no city elected official or employee acted improperly" and he is glad "to put this distraction behind us"

City Attorney Cathy Hampton says SSP's decision is vindication for the city and a great ending to a tough, year-long fight.

"It is been a long road, but we're glad that we've reached the end. And more importantly we're glad the international terminal opened in May and we've being doing great business as the gateway to the world," said Hampton.

As part of the settlement talks that lead to SSP's decision, the city returned the $272,000 bond SSP had posted when it filed its protest.  

SSP attorneys had no comment.

Click the video to watch FOX 5 Senior I-team reporter Dale Russell's story!

  • I-Team Story ArchiveMore>>

  • 3 easy options for checking your credit score

    3 easy options for checking your credit score

    Friday, August 22 2014 8:47 AM EDT2014-08-22 12:47:59 GMT
    Everybody is entitled to a once-a-year free credit report. But, it's always been a little confusing because if you wanted your credit score that goes with it then you had to pay. There are options out there.
    Everybody is entitled to a once-a-year free credit report. But, it's always been a little confusing because if you wanted your credit score that goes with it then you had to pay. There are options out there.
  • Dr. Commander cries on witness stand

    Dr. Commander cries on witness stand

    Thursday, August 21 2014 10:12 PM EDT2014-08-22 02:12:43 GMT
    The man who claims to have thousands of Hindu followers around the world took the witness stand in his federal money laundering trial and broke down in tears.
    The man who claims to have thousands of Hindu followers around the world took the witness stand in his federal money laundering trial and broke down in tears.
  • Developer: Kenerly never asked for bribe

    Developer: Kenerly never asked for bribe

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 10:18 PM EDT2014-08-21 02:18:28 GMT
    Prosecutors considered him their key witness, a longtime Gwinnett developer given immunity to spill what he knew about corruption inside county government. David Jenkins testified before a Gwinnett grand jury in 2010. He also met multiple times with prosecutors. Those interviews were videotaped. Four years later, prosecutors agreed to a no contest plea bargain with former commissioner Kevin Kenerly on one count of bribery. He will serve 10 years on probation and pay a $10,000 fine.
    Prosecutors considered him their key witness, a longtime Gwinnett developer given immunity to spill what he knew about corruption inside county government. David Jenkins testified before a Gwinnett grand jury in 2010. He also met multiple times with prosecutors. Those interviews were videotaped. Four years later, prosecutors agreed to a no contest plea bargain with former commissioner Kevin Kenerly on one count of bribery. He will serve 10 years on probation and pay a $10,000 fine.
  • Contact the FOX 5 I-Team

    * denotes required fields

    We're sorry, but only one entry is allowed per person.
    Thank you for your continued interest.

    Thanks for contacting FOX 5.  To reach our newsroom by phone, please call (404) 898-0100.

Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices