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Georgia Governor Drops Lawsuit Over Atlanta Covid Measures

Bloomberg logoBloomberg 8/13/2020 Edvard Pettersson
a man wearing a suit and tie: Georgia Governor Brian Kemp © Photographer: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images North America Georgia Governor Brian Kemp

(Bloomberg) -- Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said he’s dropping a lawsuit he filed last month against Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms over the city’s Covid-19 measures, such as mandatory face masks, that went beyond the restrictions the state imposed.

Kemp said in a statement Thursday that the mayor agreed to abandon a plan for a renewed lockdown, including business closures and a shelter-in-place order. The governor said he and Bottoms are still at a stalemate regarding “the rights of private property owners in Georgia” but that he planned to address the issue in an executive order on Saturday.

“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,” the governor said.

Bottoms said Kemp’s statement was “woefully inaccurate” regarding the city’s good-faith negotiations and reopening recommendations.

“From the start of this pandemic, my only goal has been to help save lives,” Bottoms said in a statement. “I am grateful that this lawsuit has been withdrawn and the time and resources of our city and state can be better used to combat COVID-19.”

Representatives of Kemp didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the Mayor’s statement.

(Updates with mayor’s statement in fourth paragraph.)

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