Dailey criticizes Airport expenditure | Arkansas Blog

Monday, November 15, 2010

Dailey criticizes Airport expenditure

Posted By on Mon, Nov 15, 2010 at 5:00 PM

Airport Commissioner Jim Dailey has told Fox 16 that Little Rock National Airport director Ron Mathieu's decision to spend $40,000 on sponsorship of the football field at his son's school, Little Rock Christian Academy, was a "bad judgment call." He said he thought other airport commission members would agree with him at tomorrow morning's commission meeting. The Arkansas Times broke this story on-line on Friday.

"I don't think any of us or the public is looking for excuses or reasons but really looking for someone to say I messed up on this," Dailey told Fox's David Goins.

Dailey said he wouldn't have voted for the expenditure had it been subject to a vote. Mathieu has discretion for expenditures up to $50,000 without commission approval. Dailey said he was disappointed that Mathieu, when asked about the expenditure at a June meeting, didn't mention the football field sponsorship, which constituted virtually all of a big jump in monthly marketing expenses. Instead, as the transcript shows, he talked about a number of "new things" being done to push the airport's website.

Dailey addressed Monday to FOX16 News the possibility of Mathieu losing his job.

"You know, I don't think so,” Dailey says. “In fact I told him this morning, I'm not out for his head."

You know, I think such a poor judgment call combined with Mathieu's disingenous remarks to his bosses and his refusal to address the issue openly with the press ARE ground for dismissal. At a minimum, the commission should review the totality of Mathieu's judgment calls before a rap on the wrist and a let-bygones-be-bygones verdict.

Mathieu has refused to be interviewed or to respond to written questions from the Times about the expenditure. He has referred requests for specific information to the airport's law firm, which works on a $10,725-per-month retainer.

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