Losing Atlanta airport vendor bidder drops protest against city - FOX 35 News Orlando

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>>

  • Attorney General reopens investigation into DeKalb travel agent

    Attorney General reopens investigation into DeKalb travel agent

    Friday, August 1 2014 10:31 AM EDT2014-08-01 14:31:25 GMT
    FOX 5 I-Team InvestigatesFOX 5 I-Team Investigates
    A local travel agency owner, who's been ordered by the Attorney General's office to clean up his act, is facing the same complaints again. First, there were Girl Scouts then church ladies and now a family planning a cruise says its out $21,000.
    A local travel agency owner, who's been ordered by the Attorney General's office to clean up his act, is facing the same complaints again. First, there were Girl Scouts then church ladies and now a family planning a cruise says its out $21,000.
  • Ray McBerry ex-employee speaks

    Ray McBerry ex-employee speaks

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 11:02 PM EDT2014-07-31 03:02:51 GMT
    A second young woman filed a Henry County police complaint accusing former gubernatorial candidate Ray McBerry of some bizarre behavior.
    A second young woman filed a Henry County police complaint accusing former gubernatorial candidate Ray McBerry of some bizarre behavior.
  • Mom confronts Ray McBerry over modeling request

    Mom confronts Ray McBerry over modeling request

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 12:04 PM EDT2014-07-30 16:04:32 GMT
    A twice-failed candidate for Georgia governor found himself face-to-face with a mother furious over what he was trying to do this month with her teenage daughter.
    A twice-failed candidate for Georgia governor found himself face-to-face with a mother furious over what he was trying to do this month with her teenage daughter.
  • 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

35 Skyline Drive
Lake Mary, FL 32746

Phone: (407) 644-3535
News Tips: (866) 55-FOX35

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