BURLINGTON, Vermont (AP) – The mayor of Burlington wants to fire the city’s director of aviation, accused of yelling and insulting airport workers and repeatedly filling his private vehicle with gasoline for the airport.
Mayor Miro Weinberger announced on Friday that he had started the process of firing Aviation Director Gene Richards after an independent investigator discovered he was mistreating employees and exercising poor judgment in the use of city property.
“The mistreatment of city employees documented in this investigation is unacceptable and Mr. Richards can no longer serve the city in a leadership role, despite his many past accomplishments,” the mayor said in a statement.
Richards did not immediately return a message to his cell phone on Saturday.
An investigation was opened after a Federal Aviation Administration employee discovered the repeated use of a gasoline facility by a private vehicle.
The investigation concluded that Richards had used the gasoline facility to refuel his personal vehicle 59 times over a six-month period without any documentation of the purpose of the fuel and the trip.
The report concluded that he had not violated any specific policy, but suggested he had shown lack of judgment in refusing to consult with city officials.
Richards, who has been on leave since June 30, told investigators it was okay to refuel because he was using his vehicle for city business.
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