Stephen Fletcher has complained about conditions at the Immokalee Regional Airport to the Airport Authority Board. He has complained to the Board of County Commissioners.
And now he's taking his complaints to court.
The Immokalee airport tenant filed suit in Collier County Circuit Court last week seeking a permanent injunction against Collier County Airport Authority Executive Director Chris Curry and Immokalee Airport Director Thomas Vergo.
The suit "seeks to restrain" Vergo and Curry from "harassing, abusing, injuring or otherwise violating" Fletcher's rights.
Curry said Monday afternoon that he had not yet received a copy of the lawsuit. Still, he said Fletcher's complaints are not new.
Fletcher, who owns Fletcher's Flying Services and rents a bulk hangar, storage unit and staging area at the airport, asserts in the suit that he and his business are "treated as second class citizens" despite the valuable services and revenue they provide.
The complaint further alleges that Curry and Vergo have undertaken "an unjustified campaign of harassment" against Fletcher and his business; that Fletcher and his business are subjected to "unfair and excessive fuel flow charges;" that Fletcher's driving privileges were improperly revoked on the airport property by Curry; that Fletcher was wrongly accused of an unsafe landing; that Curry has disparaged Fletcher in the media; and that Vergo "wastes airport resources videotaping and improperly surveilling" Fletcher.
Attempts to reach Vergo was unsuccessful Monday afternoon.
Fletcher declined to comment Monday afternoon, saying he would like to speak to his attorney before making a statement.
The bad blood between Fletcher and airport officials has been well-documented in recent months.
On Oct. 3, the Airport Authority suspended Fletcher's driving privileges after they said he took Commissioner Georgia Hiller and Commission candidate Tim Nance around the airport property without authorization. Curry stripped Fletcher of his driving privileges at the airport for one year, but they were reinstated by Collier Commissioners by a 4 -1 vote.
In January, Curry filed a report with the FAA after the airport documented on video Fletcher leaving his aircraft running unattended on the airport grounds and video of one of Fletcher's planes taking off from the runway while another plane, also owned by Fletcher, lands at the same time.
While Fletcher acknowledges that he did those things, he said they were not unsafe maneuvers. Further, he said he would stop and there was no need to complain to the FAA. Curry said at the time he had an obligation to report safety violations.