By Joe Nelson
joe.nelson@ inlandnewspapers.com @SBCountyNow on Twitter
Posted: 03/27/2013 08:11:53 PM PDT

Related story: Report details Scot Spencer’s actions at San Bernardino airport

San Bernardino International Airport officials on Wednesday said they will seek to recover more than $1 million they paid to former airport developer Scot Spencer to settle a legal dispute over a lease agreement prosecutors now say was a sham.

The District Attorney’s Office announced this week it had charged Spencer, 48, and a business affiliate, Felice Luciano, 69, with criminal conspiracy and perjury relating to a charter jet lease agreement with the Democratic National Committee in 2008 that became the target of an FBI probe.

Prosecutors say the lease agreement was fraudulent and was used by Spencer and Luciano to try and bilk the San Bernardino International Airport Authority out of $1.75 million. The Airport Authority settled the matter with Spencer for $1.02 million to avoid an expensive and lengthy court battle.

On Wednesday, San Bernardino Mayor Pat Morris, who is chairman of the Airport Authority board, said airport officials in 2008 had every reason to believe the lease agreement was valid, even though no one at the airport actually saw it.

Legal counsel for the Democratic National Committee subsequently told district attorney’s investigator Schyler Beaty it never had any such agreement with Spencer or his companies, SBD Aircraft Services and Norton Aircraft Maintenance Services.

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