The board for the Inland Valley Development Agency (IVDA) on November 30 took the first tentative step toward removing Scot Spencer as the contract developer of San Bernardino International Airport.
Spencer, who has been active in the airline industry for three decades and failed spectacularly in an effort in the 1980s and early 1990s to revive Braniff Airlines, in so doing landing a four-year federal prison sentence for bankruptcy fraud, was hired by the San Bernardino International Airport Authority (SBIAA) board in 2007 to use his contacts throughout the industry to assist in the civilian conversion of the now shuttered Norton Air Force Base into an international airport. SBIAA and IVDA are sister joint power agencies involving the cities of San Bernardino, Loma Linda, Highland and Colton and the county of San Bernardino in the redevelopment of the base and the surrounding property.
The development of an international airport has not been achieved and the county grand jury has questioned the expenditure of funds by the agencies in making the attempted conversion, including a cost overrun on the renovation of the airport’s passenger terminal and development of its concourse in which the original price of $45 million zoomed to $142 million. Spencer is now at the center of an FBI investigation into that circumstance and other aspects of airport operations in which several of his own businesses and those of his business associates appear to have received favorable treatment.
In its first meeting since hiring A.J. Wilson as the executive director for IVDA and SBIAA, the board on Wednesday noted that Spencer had not properly managed the airport’s billing and transferred management of the remaining project work from Spencer to itself and Wilson. The board also moved to authorize paying subcontractors for work done on a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility and the passenger terminal.