Experts question lawyers' work on Atlanta airport contracts

October 07, 2018 - 3:28 pm

ATLANTA (AP) — Two law partners had such strong financial interests in concessions at Atlanta's airport that legal experts question whether they should have been allowed to defend the award of such contracts in court.

The review by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution questions the involvement of William K. Whitner and Dennis Ellis. They're partners at the worldwide law firm of Paul Hastings, and also close to former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.

Legal experts tell the newspaper the firm should have disclosed its attorneys' conflicts of interests, refrained from such work and sought a waiver for other airport work.

Companies that lost bids challenged their award, alleging city favoritism. The challengers were unaware of the lawyers' ties.

Reed has denied wrongdoing. His deputy chief of staff and procurement chief have pleaded guilty to taking bribes.

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