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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.

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Bob Bruhns February 15, 2013 at 05:21 AM
People - wake up. This MWAA circus sideshow is happening because there is about $1.5 Billion of overcharge in the massively excessive price estimates in Phase 2 of the Dulles Rail / Silver Line project alone. And the CONTRACTS for these massively overestimated jobs are about to be approved... by MWAA! How about that. And nobody ever questions the price estimates! Example: Our Rt 28 rail station. Compare it to the Fairfield Connecticut Metro station completed in December 2011. Rt 28: 8 car trains. Fairfield: 12 car trains. Rt 28: supposedly less expensive 'single island platform' design. Fairfield: supposedly more expensive 'dual side platform' design (because it has express tracks between the local tracks). Rt 28: half length canopy. Fairfield: full length canopies on both platforms. Yet, the Rt 28 station is estimated to cost well over TWO TIMES what the Fairfield station cost! And our 'leaders', their parties and their complicit news media outlets never say a THING about that, do they. No, they don't. There are other examples of double priced estimates in this job, but nobody EVER questions the estimates! Why not? I think that it is because this extra money is to be directed to the 'right people', for financial and revolving-door rewards later. What do YOU suppose? Call out the FTA ad MWAA price estimators and have them explain their double priced estimates! If not - WHY not?
Dave Webster February 15, 2013 at 12:41 PM
Did Tom Davis force Dennis Martire to take a 9 day junket to Sardinia? Martire's problems were brought on himself by his inexcusable behavior. But let the Washington Post speak for me: "On returning from his Sardinian adventure, Mr. Martire filed an expense claim for $10,586, most of it for a business-class air ticket. … He also wrote a brief trip report, noting that smartphones can be useful tools for airports to communicate with passengers."
Bob Bruhns February 23, 2013 at 03:30 PM
Whatever our government is doing, it certainly is NOT calling the FTA and MWAA cost estimators out and demanding to know why our rail extension costs so much more than it should cost. Why? The estimates say that the Rt 28 station will cost two times what a comparable, actually more sophisticated station costs in posh, wealthy Fairfield Connecticut, and the estimates also say that the Phase 2 parking garages will cost two times what above-ground parking garages should cost in this area. Not only that, but the Rt 28 station estimate jumped 22%, and the Phase 2 parking garage estimates jumped 29%, between July 2011 and March 2012 - and the news media and our government 'leaders' are just whistling and looking the other way. What's going on here???

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