LAWRENCEVILLE -- A judge has dismissed a lawsuit against the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce and one of its vice presidents involving a Suwanee zoning case.
Last week, Superior Court Judge Dawson Jackson said that Nick Masino was addressing a matter of "public concern" and not "disseminating confidential information" during a phone conversation with Suwanee City Manager Marty Allen about a proposal to build a private school in the city.
Besides that, the allegations that Masino intervened to stop the development were false, his order said.
"I'm just very happy that justice was done and the truth came out," said Masino, the former mayor of Suwanee who now heads economic development at the chamber. He called the suit an "absolute waste of the effort and energy of the Chamber of Commerce and me personally."
"I'm very happy for it to be over. It's absolutely the best holiday present we could have received," Masino said.
The case involved a 2008 proposal to build the school in a residential area near the intersection of Moore Road and Settles Bridge Road.
At the time that developers reached an $8 million deal, city codes would have allowed the construction, but shortly afterward the city council imposed a moratorium on building permits, and then the city imposed a special-use permit requirement.
Settles Bridge Farm LLC officials, who owned the lane, sued the city and, in a separate case, Masino and the Chamber, and Notre Dame Academy sued the city.
In 2010, the suit between the school and the city was settled, with the city paying $50,000 of a $257,000 settlement that reimbursed the school for out-of-pocket expenses.
While a jury has recommended a $1.8 million award to Settles Bridge Farm in its case with the city, a judge has not yet ruled.
Attorneys for Settles Bridge Farm did not return a phone call seeking comment.