$6.7M ruling against Brookhaven could have ‘chilling effect,’ mayor says


A DeKalb County jury found last week that city leaders actively derailed a proposed mixed-use development and ignored several conflicts of interest. In what is thought to be one of the largest rulings of its type in state history, the jury ordered Brookhaven, its mayor and its city manager to pay more than $6 million in damages to Atlanta-based developer The Ardent Companies and two homeowners, Jon and Courtney Wheeler.

On Monday, the jury went further to try to punish Mayor John Ernst and City Manager Christian Sigman. The jury ordered both to pay $200,000 in punitive damages, a potentially unprecedented figure for city officials entangled in a real estate dispute.
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