Seventh Ward Councilwoman Wendy McCammack, right, calls for San Bernardino Mayor Pat Morris, left, to step down from presiding over the board that oversees the development of San Bernardino International Airport on Monday during the city council meeting at City Hall. (LaFonzo Carter Staff Photographer)

Josh Dulaney, The (San Bernardino) Sun
Posted: 10/03/2011 04:33:03 PM PDT

SAN BERNARDINO – The fallout from a federal investigation into San Bernardino International Airport reached Council Chambers on Monday night when one official suggested Mayor Pat Morris should remove himself from presiding over the airport’s boards during the City Council meeting.

“I think it would be a great step on your part, a very honorable step as a matter of fact, to allow the mayor pro tem to sit in your stead during the investigation,” 7th Ward Councilwoman Wendy McCammack told Morris.

Morris is president of the San Bernardino International Airport Authority board and co-chairs the Inland Valley Development Agency board, joint-powers authorities responsible for overseeing development at the former Norton Air Force Base.

He did not directly respond to McCammack’s suggestion.

But after a round of public comments from folks who either supported him or called for him to resign, and council discussion on an airport-related measure brought forward by McCammack, Morris did say:

“What we have is an investigation, and nothing more than that.”

McCammack’s remarks came amid a lengthy discussion on an item she placed on the agenda for the council meeting – the first since the FBI raided the airport on Sept. 21 – in which she called for the council to direct City Manager Charles McNeely to prepare alternative budget options if the city’s revenues suffer because of the investigation. The item passed on a 4-3 vote, with the “no” votes being cast by 4th Ward Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem Fred Shorett, 1st Ward Councilwoman Virginia Marquez and 6th Ward Councilman Rikke Van Johnson.

San Bernardino is a member city of the SBIAA and IVDA.

FBI agents last month seized a laundry list of records from the airport and filled a 26-foot long U-Haul truck with documents.

Investigators served search warrants at the airport and the Riverside home of airport developer Scot Spencer.

Items taken in the raid include records related to Spencer’s companies, lease agreements, vendor payments, time sheets, bank statements and documents on airline negotiations.

Authorities are attempting to link Spencer and Morris, former Executive Airport Director Donald L. Rogers, Aviation Director Bill Ingraham, former airport director Thomas “T. Milford” Harrison, South Carolina-based aircraft materials company Tiger Enterprises & Trading, and Mike Burrows, who was Rogers’ assistant director and is now handling airport operations while the airport authority looks for another executive director.

The investigation follows a scathing civil Grand Jury report released in June that criticized how airport officials have handled contracts and construction.

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