Resolution Reached Between Atlanta and Fired General Manager of Airport

A  joint statement was issued from the city of Atlanta and Miguel Southwell — who was once the general manager of the international airport which serves the greater Atlanta metropolitan area, as he was fired from his job back in May of 2016 — stating that a resolution had been reached between both parties with respect to this matter.

Southwell was selected by Kasim Reed — who is the current mayor of Atlanta — as the general manager of the busiest airport in the world for two years and earned a salary of $221,000.00 per year. Southwell was suddenly and inexplicably replaced by Roosevelt Council, Jr. — who was the chief financial officer of the airport — and reportedly threatened legal action against the city of Atlanta back in June by retaining a law firm known for handling cases of wrongful termination suits and whistleblowers to represent him.

Resolution Reached Between Atlanta and Fired General Manager of Airport

There apparently will be no more controversy or animosity pertaining to this issue, as the formal resolution based on the joint statement of City of Atlanta and Miguel Southwell has been replicated verbatim below.

The recent termination of the services of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport General Manager Miguel Southwell has been the subject of extensive speculation by the media. The issue has become an increasing distraction for the City when it should be focusing on the upcoming $6 billion airport capital improvement plan (“Construction Project”). The dispute is now over. This joint statement is being issued in the interests of complete transparency as to the resolution the parties have reached with respect to this matter.

Mayor Reed and Mr. Southwell have had an opportunity to exchange additional information with one another, including the reasons for the City’s decision to make a change in the management of the airport. In turn, Mr. Southwell voiced his concerns about the timing of that decision, both as to the day to day operations of the world’s busiest airport, and the long term success of the Construction Project.

As a result, the parties found common ground based on their shared commitment to doing what best ensures the long term success of the airport. They both now agree that neither of them engaged in any civil or criminal wrongdoing, and any statements they made that could have been interpreted to the contrary are disavowed. Mayor Reed and Mr. Southwell acknowledge and thank one another for their service to the City of Atlanta. Mr. Southwell has recognized that neither the Mayor nor any other city official engaged in any improper activity. While the parties cannot be expected to see eye-to-eye on every issue, they both now believe that their differences were more a matter a style than substance.

This statement is intended to be the final word by the parties on this dispute, as they believe that the anticipated end of the distraction in the media surrounding the issue will benefit both the City and Mr. Southwell.

Summary

The joint statement was actually released on Wednesday, September 7, 2016; so I apologize for not reporting it sooner, as it slipped under my radar.

“Interim general manager Roosevelt Council, promoted to the role from the position of chief financial officer, has settled into the role and is launching the airport’s $6 billion expansion program”, according to this article pertaining to the position of general manager still being in interim mode, as written by Kelly Yamanouchi of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, stating that Reed “has not announced any plans to name a search committee for a new airport manager, but has also declined to officially name Council as permanent general manager” and that “the market for airport managers tightens as a wave of industry veterans reach retirement age.”

Southwell was the fourth general manager of the airport in six years and was the third chosen by Kasim Reed; and if you were wondering who will be the next permanent general manager of the airport, you will have to wait longer to find out.

Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

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