Seedy goings on in Atlanta

By Administrator |

Angela Gittens has come back to haunt former Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell as a key witness at a corruption trial, eight years after she was effectively removed from office as the general manager of Atlanta

Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in 1998.
Defence lawyers were unsuccessful in attempts to stop her testimony this week where she told a jury that she had refused to follow orders from Campbell to award airport contracts to supporters of the mayor.
She told the court that Campbell ordered her to stop due rebidding processes on two contracts, including one providing airport vending machines. Government prosecutors are now using this evidence as part of their assertion that Campbell was corrupt during his term of office, where they allege that he was paid off by city contractors in return for favours.
Gittens said that she refused to follow Campbell's instructions because both contracts called for competitive bids and not to bid them out would have violated federal law.
The other contract, which she said was due for bid was for supply of materials for a new fifth runway at Atlanta. Gittens said the mayor urged her to make a deal with developer C.R. Ronnie Thornton.
The court was told that this was the same man that was eventually awarded the $2m contract after making illegal contributions to Campbell's 1997 re-election campaign. In 2001, Thornton pleaded guilty to concealing $130,000 in illegal contributions to Campbell's 1997 re-election campaign and was sentenced to serve two years probation and fined $10,000.
Gittens also added that after she refused to award the runway contract to Thornton the mayor informed her that her contract would not be renewed.
Clearly rattled and desperate to discredit Gittens? testimony, defence lawyers asserted that she had a confrontational style, having upset Delta Air Lines at Atlanta and then doing the same with American Airlines in a subsequent position at Miami International Airport.
The fact that Gittens was highly regarded for her integrity by the airports community in the US during both of these tenures was not mentioned by defence lawyers. The case continues.


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