5:59 am June 15, 2010, by Henry Unger
An elaborate going-away party for Ben DeCosta, general manager of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, cost $22,418 and is now under a city ethics review, AJC reporter Kelly Yamanouchi writes.
For a June 7 dinner feting DeCosta at the Georgia International Convention Center, more than $10,000 was spent for catering, $1,200 for entertainment and a song created for the departing airport official, $6,000 for audio-visual needs, $856 for flowers and $3,000 for a program, banner, posters, souvenir booklets and signs, according to documents obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution through an open records request.
Entertainment for the event included a tribute song to DeCosta entitled “Our GM” that was performed by Heather Hayes Experience; Hayes is the daughter of entertainer Isaac Hayes. DeCosta also was given a portrait of himself that cost $200, Yamanouchi reports.
The airport has said it did not use public funds for the 250-guest dinner, but questions surrounding the solicitation of sponsorship funds to pay for it from companies that do business with the airport prompted the office of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed to ask the city ethics officer for a review.
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