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Georgia Governor Brian Kemp is backing down from a recent lawsuit he filed against Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and city officials.
The suit, filed in July sought to block restrictions Bottoms’ administration put in place to fight the coronavirus, including a mask mandate. As we know, southern and western states continue to see an uptick in COVID-19 infection rates.
“In light of Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’
concession regarding the city’s Phase One roll-back plan and following her refusal in mediation to further negotiate a compromise, the Attorney General’s Office has filed to withdraw our pending lawsuit,” Gov. Brian Kemp said in a statement Thursday.
The decision came after the two came to a stalemate in ongoing negotiations regarding Bottoms’ mask mandate and her decision to roll back Atlanta’s reopening to phase one, WSB-TV
“I sued the City of Atlanta to immediately stop the shuttering of local businesses and protect local workers from economic instability. For weeks, we have worked in good faith with Mayor Bottoms, and she agreed to abandon the city’s Phase One roll-back plan, which included business closures and a shelter in place order,” Kemp said in a statement obtained by CNN
. “Unfortunately, the Mayor has made it clear that she will not agree to a settlement that safeguards the rights of private property owners in Georgia. Given this stalemate in negotiations, we will address this very issue in the next Executive Order.”
Kemp claimed Bottoms’ mandate for the city of Atlanta undermined his emergency order, which pushed back against local leaders imitating directives that overreached the state requirements. Under Bottoms’ order, violators could faces a fine and up to six months in jail for not wearing a mask in city limits.
“While it is unfortunate that the Governor seeks to intentionally mislead the people of our state by issuing a woefully inaccurate statement regarding our good faith negotiations and the City’s reopening recommendations, I am grateful that this lawsuit has been withdrawn and the time and resources of our city and state can be better used to combat COVID-19,” Bottoms said in response to the withdraw.
Bottoms called out the ridiculousness of the measure last month, claiming the governor was pursing a personal attack against her while overlooking a major public health issue that continues to hamper underserved communities, much of which Atlanta is made up of.
“It is very clear that the governor is putting politics over people and I join several mayors across our state who will continue to enforce our mask mandate and we will have to fight the governor about this in court,” she said in a July interview with CBS This Morning
. The fight was also personal to the mayor after revealing a positive diagnosis last month