First-class pay at Little Rock National Airport | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

First-class pay at Little Rock National Airport

Posted By on Tue, May 10, 2011 at 2:08 PM

FIELD OF SCHEMES: The Little Rock airport logo set off a tempest, but caused no pay cuts.
  • FIELD OF SCHEMES: The Little Rock airport logo set off a tempest, but caused no pay cuts.

You remember the Little Rock National Airport don't you?

RON MATHIEU: He passed our $41,000 in bonuses last year, including to employee who later took fall for his ill-fated private school expenditure.
  • RON MATHIEU: He passed out $41,000 in bonuses last year, including to employee who later took fall for his ill-fated private school expenditure.
Where director Ron Mathieu sent $40,000 to pay for a football field carpet at his kid's private school? (The airport got a sideline logo in return.) Where lunches and clothing were routinely charged to the public's tab, along with first-class air tickets, fine meals for swells in Paris, limo rides and private jet transport. All this while the passenger load has been on a 10-year decline. Mathieu lied to the Airport Commission when first questioned about the $40,000 expenditure, covered up as advertising. The Commission didn't fire Mathieu after we exposed his double-talk, but it withheld a pay raise for him this year. He has to scrape by on $180,000, the second highest salary of any employee in the city of Little Rock.

And what about the rest of the airport staff, such as public relations chief Tiajuana Williams, who initially responded to our story about Mathieu's private school expenditure by saying it was wrong (a lie, by my lights) and then covered up for her boss's expenditure by saying it was her responsibility and part of an Internet marketing campaign?

The good times roll, baby.

Little Rock National Airport — sitting on a swelling pot of money thanks to exorbitant increases in parking and rental fees and huge fee assessments on airlines (which merely pass the costs along to air passengers) — is unlike every other public and many private businesses this year. Pay raises all around this year — from 1 to 5 percent for 139 employees. Many of the employees make $100,000 a year or more, but the airport has declined to summarize the total cost of the raises and, as yet, has not even provided a full list of current pay.

(CORRECTION: The original post here said 13 employees got bonuses, too. The airport's attorney, Carolyn Witherspoon, now tells us after seeing what we'd written — and after a day of Leslie Peacock's effort to get full and straight answers from a tight-lipped airport staff, that these bonuses were paid in 2010, not 2011. The bonuses are set by Mathieu.)

You know where I'm going don't you? Tiajuana Williams, who initially told everyone in town our reporting was dishonest, got a 3 percent pay raise, to roughly $99,060 a year. She also got a $3,000 bonus in 2010. Call it battle pay. At the rate she's going, she'll catch up with Fire Chief Greg Summers ($114,000) in no time. She already makes more than several assistant Little Rock fire and police chiefs.

This, I guess, is what Mayor Mark Stodola promised would be consequences for airport hijinks, fat pay raises. I can't imagine how much they'd have gotten otherwise. I remind you that this is a year in which no state employee will receive a pay raise of any sort and where some public employees are staring at a third year of no raises.

The city of Little Rock thinks it can convince voters it needs a tax increase?

The kicker to this story is that we finally received, after weeks of wrangling, an airport payroll dated May 2. Funny thing. It was last year's payroll, not the amounts reflecting the raises we learned about today, though they took effect March 1. I'd not be wanting to release that information either, under the circumstances.

Other bonusees in 2010:

Deputy Executive Director Bryan Malinowski, who now makes over $156,000, got a $5,000 bonus. You may recall we highlighted more than a quarter-million in expense account charges by him and Mathieu over a 12-month period. Others receiving $3,000 bonuses last year were Carol Snay, director of finance; Thomas W. Clarke, director of properties; Charles Jones, director of operations; Carl Williams, HR and administration; Randal Ellison, facilities; Zachary Rodgers, finance manager; Elwin Jones, purchasing manager; Tom Dexter, facilities manager; Barbara Wright, grants administrator; Nicole Henderson, office administrator; Ann Lang, financial analyst. All these got 2011 pay raises, except Dexter.

Tags: , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (26)

Showing 1-26 of 26

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-26 of 26

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Charter secret

    These are hard times for those who believe in traditional public schools, run by democratically elected representatives, open to all on equal terms.
    • Aug 17, 2017
  • Police announced beefed-up patrols

    Little Rock police are stepping up patrols on account of rising violent crime. Meh.
    • Aug 16, 2017
  • Free streetcar service extended through December

    Rock Region Metro says it will extend free service on the River Rail streetcar lines through December
    • Aug 16, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • More on how highways were used to wipe out "blight" of non-white neighborhoods

    Vox, a news website that concerns itself with energy and other issues, has a fine piece, including before and after images, on the history of the U.S. interstate system and why roads were built through the middle of cities (unless people of influence stopped them — see Manhattan, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.)
    • Mar 22, 2016
  • Campus gun bill clears committee

    The so-called compromise amendment that will allow anyone 25 or older with a training certificate carry a concealed weapon on public college campuses was approved in a Senate committee this afternoon.
    • Feb 21, 2017
  • Judge anticipates punishment of lawyers in Fort Smith class action case

    Federal Judge P.K. Holmes of Fort Smith issued a 32-page ruling yesterday indicating he contemplates punishment of 16 lawyers who moved a class action lawsuit against an insurance company out of his court to a state court in Polk County after a settlement had been worked out.
    • Apr 15, 2016

Most Viewed

  • Arkansas-linked Charlottesville marcher identified, apologizes to those misidentified

    A man who says he's a former University of Arkansas student now living in New England has identified himself as the person wearing an "Arkansas Engineering" T-shirt in the Friday white supremacist march in Fayetteville. He apologized for involving UA in the story and to the professor misidentified as being the person wearing the shirt.
  • Rutledge elaborates on Charlottesville

    Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, who issued a generalized statement Saturday about the clashes in Charlottesville over a white supremacist demonstration, got more specific in a statement today as the chair of the Republican Attorneys General Association.
  • Police announced beefed-up patrols

    Little Rock police are stepping up patrols on account of rising violent crime. Meh.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation