The Grand Jury’s extensive criticism of the San Bernardino International Airport last year has been followed by a report this year concluding airport officials have now followed all of the Grand Jury´s recommendations. Is this another sign of turn-around for the airport, now that a developer has been removed from it and is instead facing felony charges? Airport officials and Mayor Pat Morris will say yes, and good times are ahead. Other critics will say no, the airport still has insurmountable obstacles. (File Photo)

Report: Progress made as previous Grand Jury recommendations were followed
Ryan Hagen, Staff Writer
Posted: 07/06/2013 05:07:36 PM PDT

SAN BERNARDINO — This time two years ago, the Grand Jury raised “serious questions” about management practices, internal controls and other issues at San Bernardino International Airport, and the airport passed a budget with a $982,400 deficit.

This month, a follow-up by the Grand Jury concluded that SBIA has implemented all of the county panel’s recommendations, and the budget for the 2013-14 projects a $4.5 million profit. As with previous years, however, the budget includes an “investment” from the agency responsible for development around the airport — $5.5 million for 2013-14, the same as last year.

Officials say things are indeed turning around.

“What’s important is we focused on real opportunities for the airport, not imagined or fraudulently represented opportunities, and in doing that we are gradually building a positive reputation,” said Interim Executive Director A.J. Wilson. “We basically adopted our budget last week at the commission meeting and that budget for the first time begins the process of building operating reserves so it can some time in the near future become self-sustaining.”

Wilson’s answer alludes to serious problems the airport had with developer Scot Spencer, who in March was charged with multiple felonies, including criminal conspiracy and perjury in connection with alleged corruption at the airport.

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