A reader linked me to this fascinating article, along with the question, “Is this the House GOP’s Solyndra?” Maybe Darrell Issa should investigate California Republican Rep. Jerry Lewis, former chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.
According to the piece, FBI agents and other law enforcement officers raided an airport out here in SoCal, specifically, in San Bernardino. They poked around storage units and Scot Spencer’s home and offices. Spencer is a convicted felon who got a couple of no-bid contracts four years ago to build the airport.
There were enough boxes (and even a safe) seized by the officers to fill a 26-foot-long U-Haul truck and “dozens” of official vehicles. That’s literally a truckload of evidence and then some. I sure hope they find what they’re looking for.
The cost to build the airport — which includes a luxury Million Air corporate jet terminal and a four-gate passenger concourse — has grown from $45 million to $142.5 million in local and federal taxpayer funds.
Airport officials had assured everyone that passenger planes would be able to use the airport, but so far, nothing but those pesky corporate jets that we keep hearing about have landed there since the place opened in 2010. Private companies maintain the airport as well as care for the planes. How GOP of them.
The raid Wednesday morning was performed by more than 80 investigators who are part of the Inland Valley Regional Corruption Task Force made up of FBI agents, investigators from San Bernardino and Riverside counties’ district attorneys’ offices and the California Department of Justice, said FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller. Affidavits that detail the goals of the searches were sealed, she said.
Other agencies involved in the raid included the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General and a regional group that conducts computer forensics. [...]
A veteran member of the House Appropriation’s Committee, [Republican Rep. Jerry Lewis] has helped push through congressional earmarks and other federal funding to steer more than $100 million to improvements at and around the property, and a host of defense-related projects centered there in an effort to redevelop the base, according to figures supplied by his office. [...]
[San Bernardino County Supervisor Neil Derry, a member of the Inland Valley Development Agency board since 2008 said] construction at the airport progressed beyond the point where officials could pull the plug on the project. Now officials are left with a costly airport that has little hope of ever making money, Derry said.
So Darrell, what are you waiting for?
Much more here, including photos.