Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said today he would be withdrawing his lawsuit against Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and the Atlanta City Council over the city’s mask mandate, but that doesn’t mean the controversy between them is over.
Instead, Kemp will add language to his next executive order that will allow businesses an exemption from local mask mandates.
“I sued the City of Atlanta to immediately stop the shuttering of local businesses and protect local workers from economic instability.,” Kemp said. “For weeks, we have worked in good faith with Mayor Bottoms, and she agreed to abandon the city’s Phase One roll-back plan, which included business closures and a shelter in place order. Unfortunately, the Mayor has made it clear that she will not agree to a settlement that safeguards the rights of private property owners in Georgia.”
Kemp’s current executive order expires Saturday. Kemp said he plans to issue the new order then.
Bottoms called Kemp’s characterization of their negotiations “woefully inaccurate.”
“From the start of this pandemic, my only goal has been to help save lives,” Bottoms said. “While it is unfortunate that the Governor seeks to intentionally mislead the people of our state by issuing a woefully inaccurate statement regarding our good faith negotiations and the City’s reopening recommendations, I am grateful that this lawsuit has been withdrawn and the time and resources of our city and state can be better used to combat COVID-19.”