Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority ends consulting contracts after criticism

Three no-bid consulting contracts that paid former board members nearly $79,000 this year were ended by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority after strong rebukes from federal and state officials.

An agreement Thursday ended the lobbying services of Kenneth Klinge of JKK Associates, and a similar deal Friday ended the lobbying contract of Robert L. Calhoun. Both are former board members. Their contracts will end by Sept. 5, authority spokesman David Mould said. Klinge has been paid about $37,000 this year, and Calhoun received about $18,000, Mould said.

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The authority earlier ended the contract of former board member Leonard Manning, who had a deal to develop air cargo business involving flower imports. His deal closed Aug. 8. He had been paid about $23,000 this year, Mould said.

The authority, which oversees the region’s two largest airports and is building the multibillion-dollar Metrorail extension to Dulles, has been under increasing pressure to change how it operates after damaging reports of lavish travel, a botched search for a new chief executive and the insider contracts. The criticism includes an ongoing review by the inspector general for the federal Transportation Department.

Mould said the authority will make a decision early next week on whether to continue a contract for auditing services, awarded through a competitive bid to what was the firm of former board member Jeffrey Thompson. He has since left his company amid unrelated investigations into his role in political campaigns in the District. No payment had been made to the firm under that contract.

There are no other contracts between the authority and board members or former board members, Mould said Friday. Mame Reiley continues to work for the authority as a $180,000 senior adviser, but she is an employee, not a contractor, Mould said.

 
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