Lockhart acknowledged that the brother-sister duo learned about the program after Lockhart “might have talked to their mom.”
Lockhart wasn’t the only MWAA staffer whose relatives got jobs in the student program. A review of documents found that more than three dozen employees and board members have had children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and in-laws who obtained jobs in the program year after year since 2006.
Many of the staffers were high-ranking officials, making more than $150,000 a year, including Dulles Airport manager Christopher Browne, Public Safety Vice President Elmer Tippett and Fire Chief Gary Mesaris, the records show.
Tippett and Mesaris also have other children who work full time for MWAA. Tippett’s son, Robert, works in the budget office at National Airport. Elmer Tippett’s grandson worked in the student program for two months in 2011 while in high school, assisting customers at National.
Elmer Tippett, who makes $210,000 a year, did not return a call seeking comment.
Mesaris’s son, Matthew, was hired at MWAA as a 911 dispatcher in 2009, two months after graduating from Fairfax High School. His initial salary was $36,513. Matthew, who turned 22 last week, was promoted earlier this year to supervisor of dispatchers. He is now paid $48,360 and has collected more than $19,000 in overtime since 2009, records show.
“Public safety’s been a large part of my life,” Matthew Mesaris said, adding that he does not report to his father. “But I wanted this and got this on my own.”
Mesaris’s sister, a student at the University of Scranton, worked for two months during the summer as a student intern in procurement. She found out about the program through her father, Matthew Mesaris said.
“She wanted to do something over the summer,” he said. “She didn’t just want to sit around.”
Her father, who has worked at the authority since March 2007 and is paid $156,273, did not return two messages left at his office.
Matthew Mesaris said he doesn’t have a problem with relatives working for the same organization.
“As long as they’re not in the chain of command, then it’s acceptable,” he said.
Sandra Kabagambe said that her “adopted mother,” Lynn Hampton, helped her get a job in the student program. Kabagambe worked in the program during breaks from the University of Virginia from 2003 until 2006.
“I found out about the program from Lynn,” Kabagambe, 28, said in a phone interview from Sacramento, Calif., where she’s doing a residency in general surgery at the University of California-Davis. “She told me they were hiring, and I applied, interviewed and got the job.”