Hampton, who helped pay for Kabagambe’s college expenses, acknowledged that she told Kabagambe about the student program but said she had nothing to do with her ending up in her department.
“I just told her there were jobs at the airports authority; I didn’t tell her there were jobs at the finance department,” Hampton said. “She just ended up in finance. I’m pretty sure this is aboveboard.”
Jana Phillips, an associate general counsel for MWAA whose annual salary is $160,258, had two children in the student program. Her son worked as an ambassador helping international visitors at Dulles Airport, and her daughter worked on tax issues as an intern in accounting. Phillips said that neither she nor her husband, Neal, also an MWAA employee, pulled strings to get their kids jobs.
“Obviously, we work here and we knew about [the program], but that’s no guarantee,” Jana Phillips said. “The impression I had was that they were given the same treatment as anybody from the outside. They were both well qualified for their jobs, and that’s really all I can say.”
Phillips’s son, 22, worked in the program off and on from 2007 until last June and collected nearly $22,000 in pay, records show. His sister, 19, is a college student and worked in the program for two months last summer.
Neal Phillips, an aeroacoustics program manager in the authority’s Office of Communications, was paid more than $120,000 last year. His wife said she doesn’t see a conflict with the entire family working for MWAA.
“The definition of nepotism is supervising relatives,” Jana Phillips said. “That’s a problem. I wouldn’t want an organization that did that.
“But if they’re qualified and competed for it on their own, I don’t see a problem with relatives working in the same organization.”