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San Bernardino airport authority director retires amid FBI probe

September 28, 2011 |  4:33 pm

The executive director of the San Bernardino International Airport Authority on Wednesday announced his retirement, a week after FBI agents raided the government agency as part of an ongoing criminal investigation.

Donald L. Rogers submitted his retirement letter during a closed-door meeting of the airport authority board, which was accepted and will take effect immediately, according to board clerk Kelly Berry.

The FBI executed search warrants last week at the airport authority and Inland Valley Development Agency in San Bernardino, agencies that were accused of rampant mismanagement and possible financial wrongdoing in a recent county grand jury investigation.

Both agencies oversee the development of the airport -- the old Norton Air Force Base, which was decommissioned in 1994 and converted to civilian use.

After a nearly two-hour closed-door meeting held by the airport board Friday, San Bernardino County Supervisor Josie Gonzalez promised that the agency would be more transparent and cooperate fully with federal investigators. Gonzalez sits on both boards that are targeted in the investigation.

Among the findings in the civil grand jury report was that airport developer Scot Spencer received millions of dollars worth of questionable contracts from the airport authority. Spencer is a convicted felon who served time in federal prison for bankruptcy fraud and was banned from the aviation industry by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The investigation is being handled by a special joint corruption task force set up last year because of corruption allegations in San Bernardino County.

The government agencies are in the process of "reviewing and enforcing" all contracts with Spencer and his company, according to a statement released Wednesday.


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-- Phil Willon