WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

MWAA Board Member Resigns After Legal Fight

Play associated audio

The agency running the $6 billion Silver Line rail project to Dulles Airport is finally out from underneath a costly legal battle involving one of its boardmembers.

Dennis Martire, a member of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority board, has reached a settlement with the Commonwealth of Virginia, ending litigation that was costing the authority tens of thousands of dollars to defend him in court. 

"There's no doubt that my travel was singled out and there is no doubt that people were unhappy with the project labor agreement," says Martire.

Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) tried to oust Martire from the board after reports that the labor union leader was taking lavish business trips on the authority's dime, but a court refused to appoint McDonnell's proposed replacement.  

Martire also supported a controversial pro-union provision for the Dulles rail project, which the McDonnell administration vehemently opposed. 

At this morning's MWAA board meeting, Martire took his seat only to announce moments later that he will resign in October, after he, the authority and the Commonwealth settled litigation that was costing MWAA tens of thousands of dollars to defend him in court. He says he did nothing wrong by traveling to overseas conferences.

"You come on this board, you are not an expert in airline travel or the airport transportation business," says Martire. " The only way to get knowledge is to go to those conferences."

His case garnered attention as an example of what's wrong with the Airports Authority, but the agency says it is taking steps to overhauls its ethics policies and improve transparency.

Details of the settlement are not available.


'Black Mirror' Is Back, Reflecting Our Technological Fears

The Peabody Award-winning series returns for a third season, with six new episodes picking apart our fear of — and dependence on — technology. And it's more consistently compelling than ever.

In Jerusalem And West Bank, Nutella Cafes Offer A Sweet Refuge

Palestinians are flocking to a string of Nutella cafés that have popped up in the region. The cafes offer a welcome refuge from the realities of living in a conflict zone.
WAMU 88.5

The Politics Hour - October 21, 2016

Virginia’s online voter registration will be extended after a system crash. Montgomery County keeps Marriott headquarters local with big incentives. And Washington D.C. dukes it out with Washington state over their shared moniker.


Cyber Aggression Takes A Back Seat To Other Presidential Campaign Issues

The White House says it plans to retaliate against Russia for cyberattacks. Cybersecurity has been a constant issue on the campaign trail. No candidate professes to have expertise in this policy area.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.