Cassie MacDuff

10:00 PM PDT on Friday, August 12, 2011

Cassie MacDuff

When the grand jury report on San Bernardino International Airport came out June 30, airport officials seemed more intent on discrediting the report than on what it revealed about some slipshod practices and weak oversight of the taxpayer-funded agency.

But in the end, the Airport Authority board changed course. On Wednesday it accepted most of the grand jury’s recommendations for tightening procedures and strengthening oversight.

Among the steps:

The agency will seek independent legal experts to review a $1 million settlement given to Scot Spencer, the airport’s construction manager/leasing agent, over a bungled hangar lease.

The agency got an aviation lawyer to at last clear up Spencer’s legal status related to a federal ban on his involvement in the aviation industry. (The lawyer said the judge who imposed the ban had no authority to do so.)

Major contracts that have not been executed within 60 days of board approval will have to be resubmitted. (That came about because an agreement with Spencer the board approved was changed without the board’s knowledge. That should be a firing offense.)

The airport board fell short in one area: The grand jury recommended requiring Spencer to make monthly progress reports, as his contract requires, on passenger terminal construction and leases he oversees. Instead, the board will require its chief financial officer to submit copies of payment reports. But the board can demand additional documentation from Spencer if it chooses. (It should.)

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