How many millions Atlanta favoritism will cost us, answered

I asked the question earlier this month; yesterday, we got the answer:

A federal jury on Monday awarded $17.5 million in damages to an Atlanta businessman who claimed the City of Atlanta and Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport illegally steered a lucrative indoor advertising contract to a competitor with deep political connections.

The verdict, which came after nearly eight hours of deliberations, called for Billy Corey and his company, Corey Airport Services, to receive $8.5 million in compensatory damages, to be paid in thirds by the city, Clear Channel Outdoor Inc. and businesswoman Barbara Fouch.

The jury also awarded Corey $9 million in punitive damages. Clear Channel was ordered to pay $8.5 million and Fouch $500,000.

The verdict was an embarrassment for Hartsfield-Jackson and City Hall that recalled the political maneuvering and outright corruption that came to symbolize the operation of the airport during the 1980s and 1990s.

The city said it will appeal Monday’s verdict.

So, city taxpayers are out almost $3 million in damages, plus whatever legal fees the city has accumulated — and will continue to pile up in an appeal. For what? So that Barbara Fouch can enter a fourth decade of making millions from a sweetheart contract?

No thanks. End the shenanigans, and re-bid the contract.

194 comments Add your comment

Norm

July 27th, 2010
6:57 am

Another example of elected and appointed officials looking the other way or lining their own pockets. What ever happened to truth, honesty, and selflessness in government. It just gets worse as you go higher. People, you need to pay attention when you go to the polls and keep re-electing the same folks that keep doing the same thing. Those expensive suits and dresses don’t come from their salaries. Research, learn, remember, and take appropriate action on election day. It’s your money their stealing.

Greg in the Highlands

July 27th, 2010
7:36 am

With the preliminary 2010 census results coming in, the city will have to consider the minority (white) contracts first according to it’s own edict. Turn about is fair play.

Churchill's MOM

July 27th, 2010
7:44 am

Kyle Wingfield

When you were a moderator in Dalton did you get after Nathan Deal about corruption or give him a pass?

Churchill's MOM

July 27th, 2010
7:51 am

This is an excellent example of what is wrong with our judicial system. Everyone knows the Atlanta City Government is full of corruption yet the only person to do time is a few years for Bill Campbell. Where is the DA?

Georgia owes Bill Corey thanks for spending 8 years of his life getting justice. Just remember in the Governors race, we have the choice between a CORRUPT WASHINGTON LAWYER/POLITICIAN and a HONEST WOMAN. Vote Handel in 2 weeks.

renaldo371@gmail.com

July 27th, 2010
8:18 am

This is why it was necessary to add Maynard Jackson’s name to the airport. Forget the airport, how ’bout city hall? Of course, I thought businesses (that would be Atlanta’s crony jobs program) PAY the owners of the venue (that would Atlanta taxpayers) for naming rights. And for those who would play the race card, this is not racism; it’s cronyism.

Horrible Horrace

July 27th, 2010
8:33 am

I hate that stinky airport…it so ghetto.

Richard

July 27th, 2010
8:37 am

fishtales

July 27th, 2010
9:02 am

Doesn’t matter to me as long as I can still get my $16 Whopper with cheese.

Rob Vinson

July 27th, 2010
9:07 am

I love it that Billy Corey had the $Doe Ray Me to take the city to task and he will wear them out on the appeal too. He’s already spent $3M of his own money to get this far and he’s prepared to go the distance. That airport has been the trough for all of the corrupt politicians who have made their way through the revolving door that city hall has become since 1970 or so. Maynard Jackson and his family all got filthy rich off of it. His daughters and wife still have businesses there. Mayor Shirley Girl Franklin’s ex husband, David, who is now deceased made his money there as did some of her children who didn’t marry murderers and go to jail, and Bill Campbell and his cronies have gotten fat off it. Finally, some justice is going to occur and that cess pool down there will be exposed for what it is. The gift that keeps on giving for the elected black officials, their families and cronies of this town.

Kyle Wingfield

July 27th, 2010
9:15 am

fishtales: Nicely done.

Drew

July 27th, 2010
9:19 am

Hartsfield-Jackson: the graft that keeps on taking.

Keep your eyes open

July 27th, 2010
9:21 am

Kasim Reed was put in place to replace Bill Campbell. He lies about who he is and whom he represents. The same people are still drawing their millions off the ignorant Atlantans.

Grand Forks

July 27th, 2010
9:41 am

Welcome to Hartsfield Jackson Malcolm X Louis Farrakhan Monica Kaufman Big Boi Ludicris Kris Kros International Airport.

eugene allen

July 27th, 2010
9:48 am

Felker Ward and Jesse Hill should be next on the investigation list. Those 2 pompous pigs have been at the Airport trough since day one.

mrs. w.

July 27th, 2010
9:54 am

So glad I don’t live in Atl. They haven’t had an honest, decent mayor in decades.The voters, for the most part base their vote on the color of the candidate, not the qualifications or integrity of the candidate.

Grand Forks

July 27th, 2010
9:54 am

Mine and Palin’s home states lead in job creation. Obama’s, not so much. In fact, homelessness has risen in both his “home” states. Three if you count Kenya.

N Dakota, Alaska lead US job creation, study says

NEW YORK, July 26 (Reuters) – North Dakota and Alaska have added the most jobs, while Nevada, California and Florida have lost the most, in the last five years, according to research released on Monday.

The study of U.S. employment trends found 40 states had fewer jobs in May 2010 than they did five years earlier, according to Portfolio.com, a business news site that published the research of private-sector employment conducted by American City Business Journals.

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN2622998620100726

Intown

July 27th, 2010
9:55 am

A conservative blogger critizing City of Atlanta government. How original.

Grand Forks

July 27th, 2010
9:55 am

“not the qualifications or integrity of the candidate.”

Well, that’s all across the board and it’s exactly what led us to elect Obama.

Georgia Dawg

July 27th, 2010
10:13 am

Get over it folks, Atlanta ( Detroit of the South ) will always be a cess pool of corruption, I had a business there once until the Atlanta tax gang tried to screw me and the police dept asked me for a bribe. Most of the voters in Atlanta have a IQ equal to room temperture, pay no taxes and voted for Obama so what can you expect.

Glenn

July 27th, 2010
10:16 am

Kyle after this work on getting Southwest Airlines in Atlanta . Wouldn’t it be nice if could get some of this money back through cheaper fares .

Grand Forks

July 27th, 2010
10:23 am

Glenn

I’ve been wishing and wishing that Southwest would fly into the A T L. Airtran is cheaper but than Delta but I love me some Southwest.

Dirty Dawg

July 27th, 2010
10:32 am

Hey Georgia Dawg, just because I call myself ‘dirty’ doesn’t necessarily mean I am…the City of Atlanta’s problems are due, primarily, to orchestrated efforts on the part of the State and surrounding counties to put a strangle-hold on the City just because the majority of the voters happen to be black – a situation that’s in the process of changing, by the way. This in-town resident would gladly wager all you wish that my IQ is, indeed, ‘above’ room temperature, and I suspect a damn-sight higher than yours…and I voted for Obama primarily because I vowed – particularly after these past eight years – that I would never again vote for a Republican. You and your ‘ilk’ have been, and will continue to be, the ruination of this country.

By the way, I call myself ‘dirty’ because that’s the way I fight, not how I am.

By the way, let us know who asked for that bribe and we’ll throw ‘em in jail, and as for ’screwing’ you, if you mean they actually levied property taxes on your business, I suppose you no long have to pay those wherever you are now?

former Atlantan

July 27th, 2010
10:43 am

Good for this guy Corey. This is probably just the tip of the iceberg…

Georgia Dawg

July 27th, 2010
10:48 am

Hey Dirty Dawg ( you are dirty right?) The city corruption is all Bush’s fault anyway so what’s the problem blaming it on Republicans. As for the City jail, the city is going to sell it to a friend of Jackson & Franklin so they can pick up where they left off at the Airport on screwing you dim wits even more.

HDB

July 27th, 2010
10:48 am

Glenn & GF: The reason why Southwest won’t come into Atlanta is that their business formula is based on serving little-used airports with cheaper landing fees…and they fly point-to-point rather than the hub-and-spoke system that the major carriers use!! Southwest almost got here because they were one of the bidders for Frontier when they filed Chapter 11…..but Republic outbid them….It also would’ve been a corporate change for Frontier to convert to all Boeing since Frontier retired all of their Boeing aircraft and became an all-Airbus fleet!!

Plus…Delta would’ve taken the Southwest threat seriously and undercut them on any route that both carriers flew!! Note what happened when jetBlue came to Atlanta and challenged Delta on the ATL/LAX route….

Claude

July 27th, 2010
10:50 am

If Roy Barnes is really concerned about people laughing at Georgia, then he’ll need a plan to stop the municipal and county corruption committed by his fellow Democrats.

Grand Forks

July 27th, 2010
10:57 am

“their business formula is based on serving little-used airports ”

Since when did LAX become a little used airport?

Kyle Wingfield

July 27th, 2010
11:01 am

Good point, Claude, but don’t hold your breath.

Grand Forks

July 27th, 2010
11:04 am

Consumer Confidence Falls, Lowest Since February

U.S. consumer confidence fell in July to the lowest level since February, weighed mostly by worries about the job market, according to a private sector report released Tuesday.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/38428786

HDB

July 27th, 2010
11:04 am

Grand Forks July 27th, 2010
10:57 am

When jetBlue came to ATL, rather than to land at LAX, they landed in Santa Barbara…which was better for passengers than LAX….and they advertised the ATL/LAX ROUTE…..Delta undercut them at both LAX and Orange County and drove jetBlue out…..

That’s why I said LAX…not the airport, but the route!!

HDB

July 27th, 2010
11:09 am

Kyle….Dirty Dawg does have a point; the state persistently works against Atlanta’s interests by siphoning funds from Atlanta to fund the rest of the state! Question: when will the STATE and the surrounding counties in the MetroArea release the stranglehold on the City of Atlanta and route the commensurate funds BACK to the city!! People fail to note that the airport is one of the major economic engines of the STATE!!

@ DirtyDawg — good point!! We’re in the same corner!!

neo-Carlinst

July 27th, 2010
11:17 am

Grand Forks, why don’t you do us all a favor and return to your home state? Maynard Jackson, Campbell et al are crooks. Ludicris, Big Boi and Kris Kros are recording artists and entreprenuers. The fact that you cannot distinguish between a “producer” and a “moocher” is disturbing.

neo-Carlinist

July 27th, 2010
11:19 am

oh, and Grand Forks, do you even live in the City of Atlanta?

Georgia Dawg

July 27th, 2010
11:24 am

Hey HDB, you sure are in the same corner, just be sure you don’t stand there very long or you will become another news items for local TV reports on driveby killings, something that Atlanta is famous for. As for the Atlanta Airport, just leave in the the current Atlanta hands and it will end up being taken over by the State who would run it much better.

Dirty Dawg

July 27th, 2010
11:34 am

OK Georgia Dawg…First, whatever favoritism the power structure of the City may have shown they learned by observing how ‘Boss Hog’ did it over the years – I don’t mean Ivan Allen, but Sam’s sure had some ’splainin’ to do – and if you go sayin’ that Boss Hog was one of them corrupt Democratic municipal and county heads, then you haven’t been paying attention to ‘The Southern Strategy’ that’s been working so well for Republicans since the ’60’s.

As for your comment about the City selling it’s ‘jail’ (actually a ‘detention center’) to friends of Jackson and Franklin, seems to me that the only folks I’ve read that they are in negotiations with – and this sale is critical to meeting the City’s budget plan – is Fulton County. After all it is the purview of the Sheriff’s Department to run jails anyway, so why not make it part of the Fulton County Jail system – they’ve got a shortage and Atlanta’s ‘jail’ occupancy is less than 75%…and as for ‘dim-witted’, seems to me that the ‘predominately’ white business leaders in the City are all for that sale, along with the more ‘fiscally’ aware members of the City Council as well as the County Commission…Fulton County needs the space…the City of Atlanta needs the money…but you need to make up crap and try to sell it as corruption.

Oh, one more thing. I would have thought you would have been behind the Clear Channel/Fouch side of this lawsuit since CC is not only the largest airport/transportation advertising company in the Country, it’s broadcasting arm is the poster-boy for right-wing talk across the nation as well. Simple fact is, Billy Corey’s ‘minority partner’ wasn’t as effective as ClearChannel’s was and Billy Corey’s operation ain’t exactly squeaky clean either.

Grand Forks

July 27th, 2010
11:35 am

“That’s why I said LAX…not the airport, but the route!!”

So are you saying Southwest doesn’t land at LAX?

Grand Forks

July 27th, 2010
11:36 am

“why don’t you do us all a favor and return to your home state?”

Because I relocated for a job.

“The fact that you cannot distinguish between a “producer” and a “moocher” is disturbing.”

Do you always wet the bed, neo? It’s called sarcasm, look it up.

HDB

July 27th, 2010
11:37 am

Georgia Dawg July 27th, 2010
11:24 am

As a native of Atlanta, I’ve seen the transition that my home town has taken; at one point, much of the population was left out of the political process….now, the preponderance of the population IS involved in the political process. The problem is that many of the populace have not been economically affected by the change!

If the state, in its current political form, took over the airport, further diversion of funds would take place. Look at the expansion that’s underway now for a new international terminal; look at the addition of the fifth runway (10/28)……that’s because of the vision of many in LOCAL government who see what the airport CAN be…..along with the carriers that serve ATL!!

You say the state can run things better? The state can’t even get tax refunds back to people within a YEAR!!

Grand Forks

July 27th, 2010
11:37 am

“oh, and Grand Forks, do you even live in the City of Atlanta?”

None of your business, ma’am.

Grand Forks

July 27th, 2010
11:43 am

“The state can’t even get tax refunds back to people within a YEAR!!”

Sounds like you’ve been cheating on your taxes.

HDB

July 27th, 2010
11:44 am

Grand Forks July 27th, 2010
11:35 am

With Southwest, though, they had taken over a lot of commuter routes that other major carriers had abandoned during mergers! The LAS/LAX route is one of SW’s most profitable routes….but the landing fees at LAX and LAS may be cheaper than they are in ATL!! Particularly in Cali, ther are some SW routes that allow them to serve high density airports like LAX…OAK/LAX is a strong SW route…..because of their business practice…if they have to serve a major airport like LAX, they can compensate by the service they have in the “minor” airports….like Chicago…SW serves MDW rather than ORD….landing fees are cheaper; they serve PVD rather than BOS….BWI rather than DCA or IAD…..

Also…the point-to-point vs. hub and spoke…and only having one aircraft type allows SW the flexibility that carriers like DL don’t have!! SW is the model for jetBlue and AirTran…

HDB

July 27th, 2010
11:46 am

Grand Forks

July 27th, 2010
11:43 am
“The state can’t even get tax refunds back to people within a YEAR!!”

Sounds like you’ve been cheating on your taxes.

Nope…the state Department of Revenue LAID OFF much of its workforce…they held tax returns for many Georgians for over SIX MONTHS…and in some cases, they haven’t paid the returns YET!!

Grand Forks

July 27th, 2010
11:47 am

“the state Department of Revenue LAID OFF much of its workforce”

Why?

Not sure what to tell you, HDB. I filed mine via web and got it back within 2 months.

David S

July 27th, 2010
11:48 am

Government officials commit crimes and taxpayers foot the bill. Yet another reason why all government functions should be handled by a truly free and competitive private sector market.

Of course these numbers are just the beginning. Throw in all the wrongful death suits at the hands of police, and the numbers grow and grow. In Mayfield, CA, the city was forced to close because they could no longer afford liability insurance. Their criminal-filled police force was costing the city so much money in lawsuits they just had to close up shop. Sounds like the approach Atlanta and other cities all over this country need to take. Might show the parasites who live off the taxpayers just what will happen when the money finally runs out. At least with a private company, unless the government steps in to bail out their friends, the penalties for liability hit home and there is some real accountability. And please don’t bring up BP. So much of that blame lies with the Federal Government and their demand that BP drill in 5000 feet of water instead of where they and the state agreed they should drill (500 feet of water). Add to that the government caps on liability (passed with the votes of SO many current congressional representatives and senators) and the conditions were ripe for failure.

At the Federal level, lets not forget how we are all getting screwed by TARP, the numerous stimulus plans, and the general inflation caused by the Federal Reserve and their non-stop printing press.

The well-connected always profit from their use of the power of government. Good companies can manage to be successful without special privilages.

joe

July 27th, 2010
11:49 am

Anyone who has lived here for any decent length of time knows that the city officials are some of the most corrupt in the entire country…and the airport takes the cake. I know several people who have worked in various contract related positions and each one without hesitation says bribery is the only way to win contracts there…and the city is pretty much the same way. I wish Mary Norwood would have won mayor…seemed that would be the only way to stop the corruption. Don’t think the new guy will do anything about it.

Grand Forks

July 27th, 2010
11:49 am

HDB

You’re probably right about costs, although I have no idea the cost of flying into LAX. I mean, they also fly into nearby John Wayne Airport in Orange County or wherever it is. All I’m saying is, I wish Southwest would start flying into Atlanta. I think it would help out a lot of people.

neo-Carlinist

July 27th, 2010
11:50 am

Grand Forks, no, it’s called a pathetic attempt at race-baiting humor, which reveals insecurity and ignorance. there is a difference between race-baiting and “sarcasm” (…mocking or contemptuous remarks…). so tell us, oh great employed, conservative is your “contempt” for politicians, or black people in general? are you a great white dope, or a self-loathing African American?

Georgia Dawg

July 27th, 2010
11:50 am

OK Dirty Dawg, you win with your points, when Atlanta goes belly up like Detroit, you can blame it on Bush along with the next LA quake,floods and wild fires and along the way when Obama leaves office in 012 with his book deal millions, lifetime pension & taxpayer expence account and unemployement still at 10% or more, blame it on Bush. As for Reed, he’s just another “bought ” boy by the Atlanta political machine that the great Jackson put in place years ago

Grand Forks

July 27th, 2010
11:55 am

“no, it’s called a pathetic attempt at race-baiting humor, which reveals insecurity and ignorance.”

No, it’s called sarcasm, ma’am. Just because you look for “racism” doesn’t mean it’s true. Funny how you didn’t say one thing about how Franklin added Jackson’s name to the airport when he had absolutely NOTHING to do with the airport.

“are you a great white dope, or a self-loathing African American?”

Trust me, ma’am, I am MUCH smarter than you are.

neo-Carlinist

July 27th, 2010
11:56 am

oh, and the “wet the bed” and “none of your business” stuff suggests you have the emotional capacity of a 10 year-old. feel free to respond with “I know you are, but what am I?” and you can be sure that “I’m rubber and you’re glue…”