As the Little Rock Airport turns | Arkansas Blog

Sunday, December 12, 2010

As the Little Rock Airport turns

Posted By on Sun, Dec 12, 2010 at 6:58 AM

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Two small things about Noel Oman's article in the Democrat-Gazette today following our further disclosures about questionable expenditures at Little Rock National Airport:

1. Oman reports that three airport commissioners will pass up the annual airport industry convention at a swank Hawaiian resort in January. Commissioner Tom Schueck says the trip is important, but the "environment" is not good for attending (meaning recent reporting about airport spending). I say he's wrong. If this trip truly is vital to oversight of the airport, the commissioners should go and the airport should pay for it. They might also offer a motion to hold the January meeting in Chicago some year to diminish the impression — particularly with spouses customarily in tow and many fine meals turning up on airport credit cards afterward — of junketeering.

2. A brief reference to our reporting on Airport Director Ron Mathieu's recent reimbursements characterize them as small repayments for charges allowed by airport policy, but best cleaned up for appearances sake. Really? Including that $700 steak feed in Rogers for purely personal purposes that Mathieu "inadvertently" charged to the Airport? That $400 steak feed at Arthur's to treat an airport commissioner on his birthday? Sadly, I think this kind of spending HAS been airport policy. And, that, of course, is the problem.

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