Thursday, April 19, 2012

Business Conflict Provokes A Resignation From Charleston Airport Board

Charleston County Aviation Authority board member Joseph H. Jefferson III resigned last week following the agency’s award of a $150 million construction contract for expansion of Charleston International Airport to Austin Commercial LP of Dallas. Jefferson’s resignation letter to Authority chairman Chip Limehouse says Jefferson’s engineering company Palmetto Civil Group expects to be considered for subcontracting work on the airport expansion from Austin Commercial’s local partner Hitt Contracting, Inc.

Jefferson says he resigned from the Authority committee spearheading the expansion last December, when it became clear his company might have a chance to work on the construction. He claims he distanced himself from discussions about the project, and never participated in deliberations about contractor selection. Jefferson recused himself, disclosing his relationship with Austin/Hitt the day the contract was awarded, and he now says he needs to step down because his business relationships could require more recusals in the future.

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