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Martire Ouster Has Cost MWAA $75,000

Board member says governor is wrong for trying to cut him from 13-member board.

It has cost the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority $75,000 to cover legal fees of a former board member who is fighting his ouster, The Washington Post reports.

Dennis Martire, a Democratic appointee to the 13-member board, says his removal from the group that is charged with constructing Metrorail's Silver Line is politically motivated.

that Martire damaged his credibility with questionable expenses, including spending nearly $9,200 to travel business class to Europe.

Martire, an official with the Laborers’ International Union of North America, was appointed to the board by the previous governor, Tim Kaine (D).

Martire has clashed with McDonnell over several issues, including a labor-friendly provision as part of the Phase 2 of the Silver Line.

against McDonnell, leaving one seat on the MWAA board vacant as the parties resolve the dispute.

McDonnell has attempted to replace Martire with Caren Merrick, a Republican who lost her run for delegate in the 31st District last fall.

At issue is whether McDonnell had the authority to remove Martire before his term ended. Sec. of Transportation Sean Connaughton told the Washington Post that Martire was removed for his "abuse of ethical issues."

Part of the issue stems from whether expense concerns highlighted by a recent review of the board by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Inspector General constitute abuse, despite having been authorized. The entire MWAA board had previously backed the PLA, with the apparent coordination of Virginia Sec. of Transportation Sean Connaughton.

So while the dispute is resolved, Virginia has one less representative on the board.

"We continue to maintain that there is no legal or factual cause for my removal from the board, which is the requirement set forth in federal and Virginia statute," Martire said last week. "The governor once again has failed to present any evidence of cause for removal, and we look forward to moving forward with our case."

Phase 1 of the Silver Line - from Tysons Corner to Reston's Wiehle Avenue - is slated to open in late 2013. Phase 2, not yet begun,will run from Reston Parkway to Dulles International Airport and into Loudoun County.

the-stix August 23, 2012 at 09:24 AM
The "overcharges" are ALLEGED. Perhaps they get no official attention because they are so huge. Really now.. the latest Phase 2 cost estimate by professional estimators and backed up independently by direction of the US DOT is twice what it should be? 10, 20% would perhaps be believable and worthy of a response, but 100%? What Bob should do is say what specific elements of the latest Phase 2 cost estimate are wrong and should be reduced to get down to his estimate. How about for example buying fewer rail cars, single tracking some sections out to Loudoun or not building a station or two. And since Tammie seems to have bought in, perhaps the Reston Association could help Bob spread the truth, that is if the alleged overcharges are really "valid points".
the-stix August 23, 2012 at 01:03 PM
I meant Reston Citizens Association, not the RA. Sorry 'bout dat!
Tammi Petrine August 26, 2012 at 09:25 PM
To: the-stix Bob Bruhns has in past posts given very detailed explanations for his statements re: overpricing. One that comes to mind is regarding the costs of parking spaces (they were included before Sec. LaHood did his "magic" price reduction (by foisting them off on Fairfax County = you and me as tax payers.) Recently an article surfaced that indicated that the Commonwealth of Virginia is funding a commuter parking facility in Prince Wm Co. where the price IS 1/2 of what was in our Silver Line plan. Just saying...
Bob Bruhns August 26, 2012 at 10:53 PM
Not a bad idea, Dave. It will be interesting to see how Mr. Nowakowski justifies the unbelievable overcosts.
the-stix August 26, 2012 at 11:35 PM
Tammi.. I look forward to your linking PW County parking facility information. We can then judge whether the the costs are indeed comparable as you suggest. I also look forward to Mr. Nowakowski's response to Mr. Bruhns' (a determined opponent of Dullesrail) claim that that the current Phase 2 cost estimate is 2 times what it should be.. and that the Phase 1 actual cost is coming out 2 times what it should have been.

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