WAMU: MWAA Members Targeted Martire, Reiley

Three allegedly worked with GOP in Virginia to oust Democrats from the organization responsible for building the Silver Line.

Three members of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Board of Directors allegedly actively worked with Republican officials in Virginia to orchestrate the removal of Mame Reiley and union supporter Dennis Martire from the board, according to a story published Wednesday on American University Radio's (WAMU 88.5) website.

MWAA and its board have come under scrutiny in recent years after an audit discovered questionable practices, including sweetheart deals for former board members, questionable travel expenses and nepotism. Martire was among those named for his activities, particularly an expensive trip on behalf of the organization. The Democratic members were removed, despite the internal review of MWAA raising much broader concerns.

MWAA board member Tom Davis denied the accusations in the report.

MWAA was tasked with constructing Metro’s Silver Line from Falls Church to Dulles International Airport and beyond to Ashburn. The organization came under scrutiny as it worked through the first phase of the project and U.S. Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-VA-10) requested an investigation by the U.S. Department of Transportation, which discovered the questionable practices.

After the IG's preliminary report, the MWAA board approved a new travel policy and code of ethics, revised bylaws for board members and its Freedom of Information Policy, and terminated contracts with former board members, but the final IG final report found those measures inadequate. MWAA promised to work with Sec. of Transportation Ray LaHood to make improvements. Since that time, LaHood announced he would step down as secretary.

Read the WAMU story here and check out WAMU’s audio report here.

Rob Whitfield February 18, 2013 at 04:35 PM
Just the Facts wrote: "I don't believe MWAA money is taxpayer money." Whose money is it that you believe is being used by MWAA?
Rob Whitfield February 18, 2013 at 05:04 PM
Mame Reiley's health situation was first reported by the Washington Post in 2010. I was at the MWAA Board meeting when her resignation was announced in February 2012. I recall little or nothing was said at the meeting about her being hired or her terms as a "consultant." It transpires that MWAA had hired other consultants and contractors(including lawyers) on a non-competitive basis before. Jack Potter has admitted to a lack of judgment in the process used to hire Mame. I viewed Jack Potter's action as an act of compassion in allowing her to obtain health care coverage during a major crisis for an unspecified period. Very few people, certainly not I, knew about the $180,000 annual salary which shocked most when it was revealed. It is worse than poor taste to claim that "Potter, Davis and Curto have blood on their hands." Since MWAA took over the Dulles Toll Road in late 2008 and the building of Dulles Rail, the MWAA Board workload has essentially doubled. At each Board and Board Committee meeting, members have huge ring binders with hundreds of pages of papers to review on everything from snow removal contracts to complex financial transactions. The meetings often last more than four hours. Most MWAA Board members have exhibited a high degree of professionalism during the almost five years that I have attended meetings. However, excessive secrecy has prevailed and too often between 2008 and 2012, Executive Sessions were used to keep unpleasant facts from the public.
Just the Facts February 18, 2013 at 05:22 PM
It's money from concessions is what I was told. It does not come from taxes or the federal government.
Just the Facts February 18, 2013 at 05:31 PM
This is from one of the Washington Post stories you posted.
Just the Facts February 18, 2013 at 05:33 PM
Several board members have defended their travel and said they attended worthwhile conferences at which they marketed the Washington region to airlines and learned about an industry trying to survive in financially challenging and fiercely competitive times. The money being spent comes not from tax dollars but from concessions and passenger fees. Board members are not paid.


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