State Supreme Court takes up Paulding County airport case - CBS46 News

State Supreme Court takes up Paulding County airport case

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Paulding County Airport Paulding County Airport

The justices of the Georgia State Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday regarding a lawsuit filed by residents against the Paulding Airport Authority, alleging improper issuance of bonds by that authority. The bond money would be used to help fund an expansion of the airport, to allow for commercial airline service.

"Hopefully the Supreme Court will be impartial and make the decision based on the law," said Paulding County resident Sue Wilkins. She, along with fellow resident Anthony Avery, filed the suit and lost an initial hearing with a Paulding County judge. After that, the case was moved to the State Supreme Court.

"We were left out of the loop," said Wilkins. "The citizens were left out of the loop, and we feel that there were laws that were broken."

Airport Director Blake Swafford did not deny he and his fellow county leaders kept their negotiations low-key, and did not advertise airport commercialization plans to the public. Still, he maintains everything was done legally, in the best interest of the county, and in the best interest of protecting their prospective business partner.

"I really don't have a feeling that we should have done anything differently," said Swafford. "I feel the way we've pursued the project is an appropriate way to pursue the project."

Airport leaders had hoped to have the first commercial flights taking off to Florida or the Gulf Coast by the first of this year. Swafford said they're now hoping to have those flights moving by the end of 2014.

The Georgia Supreme Court has six months to deliver a decision based on Tuesday's arguments.

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