Auditor to examine spending practices of Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport board

11/13/2013 11:50 AM

FLORENCE – State Auditor Adam Edelen will begin a special examination of the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) board after media reports raised concerns about excessive travel and spending by board members.

“Spending and travel by the board and airport administrators will be reviewed,” Edelen said in a news conference Wednesday. “My office will closely examine the board policies and the airport’s governance structure and make recommendations for improvement.”

The Kentucky Enquirer first reported on the board’s travel and entertainment expenses. That could be an issue in the Kenton County Judge-Executive race as incumbent Republican Judge-Executive Steve Arlinghaus faces a challenge in the Republican primary from Commissioner Kris Knochelmann in the May 20 election.

Specifically, Edelen is concerned about the amount spent by the board on travel in recent years.

“When you see more than $100,000 in travel over the span of the last couple of years, when you $20,000 being spent by the board chairman to take an overseas trip to a conference in Italy, certainly that raises a question whether those were legitimate expenses or not,” Edelen said.

Edelen said in the coming weeks, his investigative team will interview all involved and get the facts before releasing their findings.

“We do provide all of those involved in the scope of our investigation the opportunity to offer their perspective which is an important element of being fair,” said Edelen.

Edelen would not speculate on how long the investigation might take.

“I’m going to do my job and it’s going to be thorough, and we’ll do it as expeditiously as possible but we will not cut any corners in our pursuit of the truth,” Edelen said.

The situation is reminiscent of the spending problems at the Bluegrass Airport in Lexington, which was first reported by the Lexington Herald-Leader and led to a special examination by then-Auditor Crit Luallen, resulting in criminal charges against former airport officials.


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