State fighting effort to release Ku Klux Klan file in Williams case

ATLANTA - The state is fighting a federal magistrate judge's order that could eventually allow convicted killer Wayne Williams access to wiretaps of reputed white supremacists that were collected during the Atlanta child murders investigation of a quarter-century ago.

In a motion filed in U.S. District Court this week, the state Attorney General's Office also is disputing the portion of the judge's May 31 order involving a request to allow Williams access to the juvenile records of a key witness against Williams.

The evidence was contained in the so-called ''8100'' file, which lawyers for Williams say was withheld from the defense at his trial. Court papers say the file recorded the state's investigation of the Ku Klux Klan's possible involvement in the murders of 29 people - mostly black boys - in the Atlanta area between 1979-1981.

Williams was convicted of two murders and blamed for 22 others, but he was never charged in the other cases. He is currently serving a life sentence. A local police chief last month reopened the investigation into five of the deaths, saying he doesn't believe Williams committed any of the murders.

Williams has long contended that he was framed and that Atlanta officials covered up evidence that the Klan was involved in the killings to avoid a race war in the city. State officials have said they believe they arrested the right man and that the Klan was not involved.

Delta can't be sued for actions of passenger

ATLANTA - The Georgia Supreme Court on Thursday threw out a suit seeking to hold Delta Air Lines responsible for a passenger who got drunk on a flight and then was involved in a traffic accident on the way home from the airport.

In a 6-1 decision, the court said an airline has no control over passengers once they deplane.

The case stems from a March 29, 2001, traffic accident involving a man who allegedly became intoxicated on a Delta flight from Milwaukee to Atlanta.

William Serio swerved across the center line of a road and struck another vehicle head-on, seriously injuring the driver of that vehicle, Jack Townsend.

Townsend sued Serio and Delta for damages, citing both common law negligence and the Georgia Dram Shop Act, which makes the consumer of alcohol - not the seller - responsible for any accidents caused by an intoxicated person.

Atlanta police suspend manager

ATLANTA - The Atlanta Police Department's senior budget manager has been suspended and is accused of violating several departmental policies.

Arthur Kai, who has been with the department for 10 years, is accused of breaking five department rules: avoiding duties by either feigning illness or giving the false impression of work; working an extra job outside the department without permission; using police stationery for correspondence related to the extra job; having a run-in with the law; and not informing the police chief about the run-in.

- From wire reports