ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A new city investigation is calling out a former Sunport employee for trying to win a bid for a project while being on retirement. The 11-page report says the Aviation Associate Director violated the city’s ethics code and should’ve known his request was a conflict of interest.
For the past few months, the Sunport has been undergoing a Terminal Improvement Project. Problems started coming up back in November when the Associate Director of Aviation, who was also the Project Manager for the improvement project, submitted a request to be a contractor.
“An employee of the aviation department had seen another employee try to get outside employment after they retired,” says Nyika Allen, Director of Aviation.
According to the investigation by the city’s Inspector General, the Project Manager was trying to get paid an extra $52,000 on top of his city salary, while on early retirement.
“The new administration, myself included, the city attorney, we all ultimately decided that we did not want that and that it was a bad idea,” Allen says.
Allen says in order to get the bid approved, the requester must get six signatures on a Tenth Change ORder. Allen says he only got two, one signature was his and the other was the former Deputy Director of Aviation.
“No one from the new administration did sign those documents. It was stopped as soon as it got to us,” says Allen.
The Inspector General says this was a violation of the city’s ethical conduct and it was a conflict of interest. “We’re very fortunate enough to be getting rid of people who are potentially dishonest with the city,” Allen says.
That employee no longer works for the Sunport and the consequences will be determined by the city’s attorney.
The city ended up assigning someone within the Aviation Department to finish the project. It should be completed by next month.