Sunday, October 28, 2012

San Bernardino International (KSBD), California: Airport finalizing dealings with Scot Spencer

Developer Scot Spencer's affiliation with San Bernardino International Airport should be a thing of the past within the next two weeks, the airport's interim executive director said Friday.

Spencer, who first sparked controversy in San Bernardino in 2005 when it was revealed the airport hired him knowing he was a convicted felon who served time in federal prison, was ordered by a federal judge on Oct. 19 to vacate the airport and his business interests associated with it.

On Monday, the airport's interim director, A.J. Wilson, met with Spencer to discuss surrendering his business dealings to the San Bernardino International Airport Authority, or SBIAA.

During the Oct. 19 hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Riverside, Judge Deborah J. Saltzman dismissed the two bankruptcy cases filed on behalf of Norton Property Management Services LLC and SBD Airport Services LLC, both of which were managed by Spencer and former airport executive director T. Milford Harrison.

Saltzman's order required Spencer and Harrison to immediately surrender to the SBIAA more than a half-dozen buildings and hangars leased by their companies.

Those buildings include a four-bay hangar at 225 N. Leland Norton Way and a fixed-base operator terminal at 295 N. Leland Norton Way that formerly housed the private jet refueling company Million Air, a chain of fixed-base operators in the U.S. and Canada.

Million Air terminated its franchise agreement with SBD Properties LLC, another company co-managed by Spencer and Harrison, in February after the company failed to renew the agreement.

"We have total possession of all of those facilities. He's (Spencer) not conducting any business activity there at the airport at all," Wilson said.

Wilson said he will be meeting with Spencer again on Tuesday to discuss closing out Spencer's agreements with contractors on the airport terminal renovation project and construction of a new customs building, which is nearly complete.

The projects have been temporarily suspended until their oversight is turned over to the SBIAA, Wilson said.

Spencer has yet to clean out his offices and turn his keys over to the Airport Authority. That should happen within the next two weeks, Wilson said.

"(Spencer) will not be able to access any of the buildings without the presence of a security officer," Wilson said. "He'll be treated as a member of the public."

The Grand Jury sharply criticized Spencer and airport operations in its annual report released on July 1, 2011. Less than two months later, FBI agents raided the airport, carting out boxes of documents that filled a 20-foot-long U-Haul truck from floor to ceiling.

Donald Rogers, who was the airport's interim executive director at the time, subsequently resigned.

Federal investigators are looking into allegations of bribery, conspiracy, money laundering and fraudulent use of federal funds, as well as Spencer's ties to various individuals currently and formerly associated with the airport, including Rogers.

The SBIAA hired Spencer in 2005 and gave him full control of airport development, despite knowing he was a convicted felon who spent more than four years in federal prison for taking kickbacks and illegally operating a Florida airline that was in bankruptcy protection.

Spencer's voice mail was full and couldn't take incoming messages. His spokesman did not return a telephone call Friday seeking comment.


No comments:

Post a Comment