Fulton County Superior Court Judge Michael Johnson last week ruled in favor of the Atlanta Development Authority and two co-defendants when he ordered an intervener in a bond validation case to pay attorneys fees.

The case involved attorney John Woodham and Citizens for Ethics in Government who in November 2008 intervened in two bond validation proceedings and attempted to block the issuance of lease-purchase bonds related to two commercial developments for rental housing and retail services being undertaken by the ADA and two businesses.

Johnson ruled that Woodham and Citizens for Ethics in Government must reimburse more than $430,000 in attorneys’ fees incurred by the ADA and its co-defendants as a result of Woodham’s intervention, the authority said in a release. The judge previously had ruled that the intervention in the bond validation proceedings was improper, it said.

Lease-purchase bonds are an economic development tool used for the past 20 years by development authorities across Georgia, according to the ADA.

“Incentives like lease-purchase bonds are necessary for business and investment development,” ADA president Peggy McCormick said a statement. “We are committed to defending our use of the tools available to us.”

The Atlanta Development Authority is the city’s official economic development agency focusing on residential, business, and investment growth in the city.

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