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Airport Postpones Airport Director Search Amid More Legal Trouble

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Updated: Wed, 20 Aug 2014 07:31:53 MST

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - The Grand Junction Regional Airport Board finds themselves amid another legal controversy. A law firm from Denver is accusing the board of illegally conducting their latest search for a new airport director by violating Colorado Open Meetings Laws.

The letter was sent from the Colorado Press Association on behalf of the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. It’s a three-page document that says, "The Grand Junction Regional Airport Authority (GJRAA) has violated the Colorado Open Meetings Law (“COML”) by conducting a series of meetings of a 'local public body' without providing the legally-required notice of such meetings, affording the public its right to attend such meetings, or to inspect minutes of such meetings."

The letter surfaced at what appeared to be the end of the search for a new airport director. The pool of candidates dwindled down to Benjamin Johnson, but at Tuesday’s board meeting, Chairman Steve Woods announced all actions regarding a new director will be postponed until the Board receives further legal council.

At the board meeting, many in the audience with ties to the airport expressed confidence in the GJRAA’s search and eventual pick of Johnson as the final candidate. But clearly, not everyone agrees. During the previous Grand Junction City Council Workshop, officials voiced concern over Benjamin Johnson as the next airport director, especially because Johnson sat on the selection committee that ended up picking himself.

It's not clear whether the letter sent by Levine Sullivan Koch and Schulz, LLP, is a threat of legal action, but the board is taking it seriously.

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