Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp dismissed his lawsuit against Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and City Council on Thursday after suing the mayor for masked mandates and other coronavirus protections restored in July.
“In light of Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ concession of the city’s phase one return plan and after her refusal to mediate to further negotiate a compromise, the Attorney General’s Office has made a request to withdraw our pending lawsuit, “a statement from the governor ‘s office said Thursday.
Kemp said he was trying to protect businesses.
“I sued the City of Atlanta to immediately stop closing down local businesses and protect local workers from economic instability,”; Kemp said. “For weeks, we worked in good faith with the mayor, and she agreed to abandon the city ‘s phase one return plan, which included closing the business and getting a shelter in order.”
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Kemp filed a lawsuit against Bottoms and City Council after the Atlanta mayor issued an order July 10, pushing the city back into Phase One as coronavirus issues began to rise, requiring people to stay home and wear a mask in public. Restaurants and businesses were allowed to be open only for taking turns.
Bottoms, a Democrat, told CNN in an interview last month that she believed the lawsuit was a “personal revenge” because he “did not sue the city of Atlanta. He filed a lawsuit against himself and our City Council personally.”
In a brief note made by Bottoms in response to the lawsuit, she defended the Atlanta mask mandate and said the governor’s lawsuit was antithetical and did not serve the public interest because restoring her order could increase the spread of COVID-19 and the number of lives damaged and lost to her
The Last Office cannot be reached immediately for comment.
“Unfortunately, the mayor has made it clear that she will not agree to a solution that protects the rights of private property owners in Georgia,” Kemp said Thursday.
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Kemp is expected to sign an executive order Saturday that will allow cities to enforce masked mandates, but only on government property – meaning Bottoms will not be able to ask businesses to abide by them. camouflage rules, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Bottoms reportedly called Kemp’s statement “very inaccurate” but noted that it was “grateful that this lawsuit has been withdrawn and that the time and resources of our city and state can be better used to fight COVID-19.” .
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Georgia has reported over 228,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 4,500 deaths.
Atlanta, the capital of Georgia, is located in Fulton County and has reported the largest number of coronavirus cases in the state, with more than 21,000 confirmed cases – 3,400 of which have occurred in the past two weeks.