Former vice president files $10 million suit against MWAA

January 22, 2013

A former vice president at the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority has filed a $10 million defamation suit against the MWAA, saying the authority breached the severance agreement that accompanied his departure last year.

George Ellis, vice president for information and telecommunications systems at the authority, left his job in April. Several months later, a federal inspector general’s report alleged that during his tenure at the MWAA, he and members of his staff accepted more than 25 free trips from a company with a major contract with the authority.

The MWAA is responsible for overseeing construction of the $5.6 billion Dulles rail project. The audit by the Department of Transporation did not allege any criminal wrongdoing.

MWAA officials declined to comment on Ellis’s suit, filed Dec. 26 in Arlington County, In the suit, Ellis denies any wrongdoing and alleges that senior executives sought to make him a scapegoat.

An MWAA official initially said Ellis had been fired, but officials later said Ellis was no longer with the authority.

Ellis, referred to in the inspector general’s report by only his title, was terminated, according to the report.

In October, Ellis accepted a job as chief information officer for Albany, N.Y., but the offer was rescinded after city officials learned of the inspector general’s report, said lawyer Geoff Gitner, who along with Billy Martin, is representing Ellis.

Lori Aratani writes about how people live, work and play in the D.C. region for The Post’s Transportation and Development team.
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