Governor, mayor discuss settlement in Atlanta COVID-19 lawsuit

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ATLANTA (WSAV) – Gov. Brian Kemp and Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms are working toward a resolution in a lawsuit over measures taken by Atlanta in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Kemp’s office, the mayor asked the governor to discuss the settlement on Wednesday.

“The conversation was productive,” the office’s statement reads. Bottoms agreed.

“It is abundantly clear that we both want what’s best for the people of our city and for our state and that is, first, to be safe and to be free of COVID-19,” the mayor said in a video update.

“We are in agreement that masks save lives. We will continue to work together to try and iron out those things we disagree on and hopefully we can move past this,” she continued. “It is not my desire as mayor of this city to have a very public fight with the governor of this state.”

The lawsuit was filed last week after Kemp issued an order blocking mandatory mask mandates. Bottoms later announced the local measure requiring them would stand.

Kemp’s office has said the lawsuit involved more than just masks — the mayor was rolling back Atlanta to phase one in its COVID-19 response.

Bottoms has argued the phase one guidelines provided are simply recommendations and that the city never required businesses to shut down.

The mayor said she would keep citizens posted on the status of the settlement.

“I would much rather spend my energy focusing on leading our city through COVID-19 and many other challenges that we are now facing and I trust that the governor would like to do the same on behalf of the state,” Bottoms added.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports a Fulton County Superior Court Judge ordered Kemp and Bottoms into mediation over their legal dispute. The first hearing is still set for 10 a.m. Tuesday.

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