The Washington Post

Former frontrunner to lead D.C. area airports authority is out of a job

The former frontrunner to lead the authority that oversees the Washington area’s two main airports will be out of a job at the end of the month.

The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that Nathaniel P. Ford, the city’s transit chief, will leave his post on June 30. Ford had been the leading candidate to become the next chief executive at the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.

But Ford’s candidacy exposed rifts on the board that oversees Reagan National, Dulles International and the project to extend Metrorail to Dulles. The board become bitterly divided over Ford after revelations about his personal financial troubles. The debate included allegations of racism from at least one board member, who suggested that those opposed to the African American man were racist.

The airports authority was criticized for fumbling the search and has since restarted the process from scratch, narrowing a new list of candidates.

When the board’s debate became public, however, it put Ford in an awkward position with his current employer, prompting conversations about whether he was fully committed to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

According to the Chronicle, Ford’s board will decide next week whether to buy out his contract that is scheduled to expire in 2014. The Chronicle quotes the board’s chairman saying that the board and Ford “agreed mutually that now is a good time for a change.”

Ann covers legal affairs in the District and Maryland for the Washington Post. Ann previously covered state government and politics in California, New Hampshire and Maryland. She joined the Post in 2005.

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