President Joe Biden’s nomination of Phil Washington for FAA administrator is in peril following allegations that Washington was involved in the awarding of no-bid contracts during his previous job as head of the LA County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
With a criminal probe currently in place and a search warrant executed at an LA County supervisor’s home, evidence including documents pertaining to FAA nominee Washington were reportedly collected and are being reviewed for possible misappropriation due to the alleged no-bid contracts.
This investigation is culminating in what appears to be an ongoing political feud that has been taking place between the Los Angeles County Sheriff, Alex Villanueva, and many other elected officials in Los Angeles.
It’s been more than six months since the resignation of former FAA honcho Steve Dickson who resigned, he said, to spend more time with his family in the wake of the Boeing 737 Max certification scandal.
This lack of a confirmed head at the FAA comes during a crucial time in the airline industry. An aviation official, who requested anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the matter, was quoted by Politico as saying, “We have an agency in dire need of a leader.” The probe could delay the confirmation of Washington into next year, which could hamstring an agency already beset by staffing and funding issues and facing historic increases in demands on its services.
Washington, whose last role was that of the CEO of Denver International Airport, has stated that “all allegations are false,” as reported by Bloomberg.
Check back with Plane & Pilot as we will continue to monitor this story and provide updates as they become available.