Vendors Ask Judge To Hold Mayor Reed In Contempt Of Court

Two developments could unfold later today in Atlanta’s legal battle with street vendors.As heard on the radio

The city council is expected to pass a long-awaited vending ordinance that Mayor Kasim Reed has proposed. And while the council meets, vendors will ask Fulton County Judge Shawn Ellen LaGrua to hold the mayor and police chief in contempt of court for not issuing permits.

WABE legal analyst Page Pate says however the council votes, the city is likely to be found in contempt.

“The question is what will the sanctions be, and the judge has a lot of discretion in imposing sanctions,” Pate says. “She could simply fine them, she could say look I’m going to put on you on a more definite time table as far as issuing permits.”

In early October, LaGrua ordered the city to issue permits under an old ordinance. The city is appealing to the Georgia Supreme Court and maintains it has no ordinance under which to issue permits after the standing policy was thrown out in December.

Pate says the city is still obligated to issue those permits while appealing, but the judge could give it some leeway given its work crafting a new ordinance.

“I think the judge sees that they’re making some progress, and will probably give them some more time to do so, but maybe under a tighter deadline,” Pate says.

A spokesman for Reed’s office says the city will present its argument in court Monday. The City Council meets at 1 p.m.