Martire Ouster Has Cost MWAA $75,000

Board member says governor is wrong for trying to cut him from 13-member board.

It has cost the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority $75,000 to cover legal fees of a former board member who is fighting his ouster, The Washington Post reports.

Dennis Martire, a Democratic appointee to the 13-member board, says his removal from the group that is charged with constructing Metrorail's Silver Line is politically motivated.

that Martire damaged his credibility with questionable expenses, including spending nearly $9,200 to travel business class to Europe.

Martire, an official with the Laborers’ International Union of North America, was appointed to the board by the previous governor, Tim Kaine (D).

Martire has clashed with McDonnell over several issues, including a labor-friendly provision as part of the Phase 2 of the Silver Line.

against McDonnell, leaving one seat on the MWAA board vacant as the parties resolve the dispute.

McDonnell has attempted to replace Martire with Caren Merrick, a Republican who lost her run for delegate in the 31st District last fall.

At issue is whether McDonnell had the authority to remove Martire before his term ended. Sec. of Transportation Sean Connaughton told the Washington Post that Martire was removed for his "abuse of ethical issues."

Part of the issue stems from whether expense concerns highlighted by a recent review of the board by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Inspector General constitute abuse, despite having been authorized. The entire MWAA board had previously backed the PLA, with the apparent coordination of Virginia Sec. of Transportation Sean Connaughton.

So while the dispute is resolved, Virginia has one less representative on the board.

"We continue to maintain that there is no legal or factual cause for my removal from the board, which is the requirement set forth in federal and Virginia statute," Martire said last week. "The governor once again has failed to present any evidence of cause for removal, and we look forward to moving forward with our case."

Phase 1 of the Silver Line - from Tysons Corner to Reston's Wiehle Avenue - is slated to open in late 2013. Phase 2, not yet begun,will run from Reston Parkway to Dulles International Airport and into Loudoun County.

Chris E August 21, 2012 at 08:05 PM
New title, “By not stepping down in shame, Martire costed MWAA $75,000.”
Matt stein August 21, 2012 at 10:34 PM
Easy to spend another's dollar
Bob Bruhns August 21, 2012 at 11:22 PM
This is all a diversion. The actions of this MWAA Board member are the stuff of late-night comedy - but even so, ALL of their $200,000 here, $180,000 there, $75,000 here, $38,000 there, put together, is NOTHING, compared to the Billion and a half dollars of overcharge in Phase II alone. Instead, we are being distracted by this MWAA comedy show, and it's all we talk about, isn't it. We hear about $9,000-odd for a plane ticket, we hear about a nine-day trip to Sardinia, we hear about a few hundred dollars for wine, but we never hear about the Rt 28 rail station costing 2.5 times what it should cost, we never hear about the parking garages costing two times what they should cost, we never hear about MWAA hyperinflating the estimates an average of 27% in one year, for the items that were removed from the Dulles Rail books in order to hide a few hundred millon dollars and claim a 'savings'. We hear crying, and we will hear a lot more crying, about the Dulles Toll Road tolls - but we NEVER hear about the near-double price we are being charged for the line items of Phase II, and we NEVER hear that the Phase I line items cost about the same. We NEVER hear about how the Dulles Airport rail station should have been a 'dead-end spur' instead of a very expensive elevated loop. All we hear is what somebody WANTS us to hear, and all we talk about - the vast majority of us, anyway - is what somebody WANTS us to talk about. When are people going to learn to think for themseves?
dickkovar@aol.com August 22, 2012 at 12:32 AM
Oh, oh, oh. I am a Democrat and a former union member and I remember union officials exploiting my dues in this way, and I say FIRE THE CREEP and make him pay back the money. People like him helped Republicans defame and demolish the union movement in this country. Until then it was the unions that elevated millions of Americans to the middle class, and it is the demise of the unions that has made 99% of us proles.
dickkovar@aol.com August 22, 2012 at 12:34 AM
My comment is above.
David A. LaRock August 22, 2012 at 01:26 AM
Sign the No Toll Increase Petition http://notollincrease.blogspot.com/p/sign-petition.html By signing this petition I am saying NO to skyrocketing tolls on the Dulles Toll Road. I want Virginia to take control by putting the Toll Road users first instead of making them the cash cow for other projects. Stop strangling our roads and the region's economy with tolls and traffic congestion. I say NO TOLL INCREASE.
Tammi Petrine August 23, 2012 at 05:04 AM
Bob Bruhns has raised the issue of over-charging for the elements of the Metro leg called the Silver Line. Why does he not gain any traction? He has valid points that NO ONE seems to hear. YES, we can not have huge new toll increases without huge negative consequences. Yes, our politicians have gone mute since Loudoun signed on and Phase 2 is a go as we feared they would. But, people, IF the total price of the Silver Line can be seriously reduced, the amount that needs to be funded is much less. Therein lays ONE of the factors that can reduce expected outrageous, harmful tolls. Why do none of the cheerleaders and builders of the Silver Line pay attention to this reasoning and give us some clear answers. IN ADDITION, I CAN NOT understand how the final cost of Phase 1 and Phase 2 are estimated to be equal when Phase 1 (covering the roughly same distance as Phase 2) has curving, tunneled, elevated, densely developed TYSONS CORNER challenges and Phase 2 is predominately on grade, straight, and unencumbered. PLEASE, someone explain this AND Bob Bruhns' concerns. We deserve answers; answers that could solve some of our problems... MWAA, Fairfax County BOS, Supervisor Hudgins, Loudoun County BOS, Sec. LaHood, Governor McDonnell, Ken Plum? Bob and I want answers to our questions, please.
Dave Webster August 23, 2012 at 07:43 AM
Bob, Have you ever considered sending an email or letter to Pat Nowakowski to ask for an official explanation on these overcharges?
the-stix August 23, 2012 at 09:24 AM
The "overcharges" are ALLEGED. Perhaps they get no official attention because they are so huge. Really now.. the latest Phase 2 cost estimate by professional estimators and backed up independently by direction of the US DOT is twice what it should be? 10, 20% would perhaps be believable and worthy of a response, but 100%? What Bob should do is say what specific elements of the latest Phase 2 cost estimate are wrong and should be reduced to get down to his estimate. How about for example buying fewer rail cars, single tracking some sections out to Loudoun or not building a station or two. And since Tammie seems to have bought in, perhaps the Reston Association could help Bob spread the truth, that is if the alleged overcharges are really "valid points".
the-stix August 23, 2012 at 01:03 PM
I meant Reston Citizens Association, not the RA. Sorry 'bout dat!
Tammi Petrine August 26, 2012 at 09:25 PM
To: the-stix Bob Bruhns has in past posts given very detailed explanations for his statements re: overpricing. One that comes to mind is regarding the costs of parking spaces (they were included before Sec. LaHood did his "magic" price reduction (by foisting them off on Fairfax County = you and me as tax payers.) Recently an article surfaced that indicated that the Commonwealth of Virginia is funding a commuter parking facility in Prince Wm Co. where the price IS 1/2 of what was in our Silver Line plan. Just saying...
Bob Bruhns August 26, 2012 at 10:53 PM
Not a bad idea, Dave. It will be interesting to see how Mr. Nowakowski justifies the unbelievable overcosts.
the-stix August 26, 2012 at 11:35 PM
Tammi.. I look forward to your linking PW County parking facility information. We can then judge whether the the costs are indeed comparable as you suggest. I also look forward to Mr. Nowakowski's response to Mr. Bruhns' (a determined opponent of Dullesrail) claim that that the current Phase 2 cost estimate is 2 times what it should be.. and that the Phase 1 actual cost is coming out 2 times what it should have been.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »