Ontario International Airport

Planes land and take off from the asphalt-paved runway at the Ontario International Airport. (File photo)

By Liset Márquez, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 04/04/16 – 3:10 PM PDT |

ONTARIO >> A high-profile attorney could serve as the general counsel for the local authority when it assumes control of LA/Ontario International Airport this year.

At Monday’s special meeting, the Ontario International Airport Authority discussed in closed session hiring general counsel.

OIAA president Alan Wapner said the move to hire its general counsel, and not rely on Ontario’s lawyers, was part of the authority’s plan to build a “firewall” between the two agencies.

“We always envisioned the authority as being a separate entity,” he said.

Although there was no reportable action out of Monday’s meeting, in attendance was Upland-based attorney, Stephen Larson, who last month was asked by the government — in its battle against Apple — to draft a friend of the court brief on behalf of victims of the San Bernardino terrorist attack. Larson has also been the lead defense attorney in a public corruption case in San Bernardino County since 2011, in which he is defending a Rancho Cucamonga developer accused of bribing public officials.

Monday’s meeting at the Ontario Convention Center was a change for the commission, which has been gathering at Ontario City Hall since its inception more than three years ago.

“We won’t be here forever, this is part of the transition process,” said OIAA CEO Kelly J. Fredericks.

Fredericks said he canvassed the commissioners about the structure of future OIAA meetings.

“If this forum, if you’d like to see it tweaked, we’d welcome your feedback,” he said.

Fredericks’ goal is to move the meetings back to ONT. Los Angeles World Airport’s Board of Airport Commissioners — the airport’s governing body — met at least twice a year at ONT. That practice stopped at the end of 2007.

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