AMG goes after emails, BAA calls it a waste of resources - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

AMG goes after emails, BAA calls it a waste of resources

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BIRMINGHAM - AL -

In a continued battle over the release of airport project information with the Alabama Media Group, the Birmingham Airport Authority says it has done everything it can do for two consecutive weeks now.

"We think we've produced 7,500 documents in about 10 days time," BAA lawyer, Jim Goyer, said. "We've moved heaven and earth to do so."

But AMG remains unsatisfied and believes there's more out there.

"We had to file a TRO (temporary restraining order) because we were stone-walled by the Birmingham Airport Authority, who then has spent the last two weeks spending un total amounts of public money trying to hide public documents," AMG lawyer, Banks Sewell, said.

Now, AMG is going after emails in hopes of acquiring more information about the flight information display unit that fell in March.

AMG requested in court Wednesday correspondence between the BAA and contractors Brasfield & Gorrie and Monumental Contracting.

"Going forward, it's been a substantial interference of burden on the airport to continue to produce these documents for the Birmingham News," Goyer said.

Goyer calls it a grasp at straws and a waste of resources. He says his staff has been more than accommodating, working around the clock since the original restraining order was filed around April 16.

"We think this is piling on and harassment and unnecessary and irrelevant," Goyer said.

"The bigger question is 'Why are they refusing to do that?'," Sewell said.

Sewell says it's public records, about a public project, which was built with public dollars.

"That's why we're here pursuing public documents," he said. "To determine why did that sign fall down and what can we do to prevent something like this from happening in the future?"

Judge Joseph Boohaker is expected to make a ruling by Friday to determine what parts of the TRO have been complied with and what parts still need to be resolved.

AMG has also requested a copy of the salary information for president and CEO of the BAA, Al Denson.  Lawyers for AMG argued to Judge Boohaker they'd like to see how Denson has been paid throughout the process of the airport renovations.

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