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Fri, May 14, 2010

Charges Against NAFI Executive Director Jason Blair Dropped

Airport Management Issues Have Been Resolved

ANN has learned that a judge has dismissed all charges against Jason Blair, the Executive Director of the National Association of Flight Instructors, which stemmed from a allegations of embezzlement at an airport where he had been manager

Blair's attorney James Mikel McEwen, said in a statement: "All criminal charges brought against Jason Blair have been dismissed. The charges which were brought against Mr. Blair, and ultimately dismissed, involved a corporation in which Mr. Blair has an ownership interest. In the past, this corporation was contracted to provide management services at an airport in Southwest Michigan and a question, which has been resolved, arose over a fuel account. The above-described charges, in no way, had any relationship to Mr. Blair's duties or position with the National Association of Flight Instructors."

As ANN reported last month, the charge stemmed from some 2,510 gallons of fuel that allegedly went unpaid while Blair was the manager of the Hastings City/Barry County Airport (9D9) in Michigan.

It was never clear where the unpaid fuel went. The Hastings Banner reported that an audit of airport records from 2008 uncovered the discrepancy, but Barry County administrator Michael Brown that the cause could have been anything from a faulty accounting system to a broken pump. Investigating officers found that access to the fuel pumps was open, and they could drive up to the pump and find one of the gas nozzles unlocked and lying on the ground. At that time, it was determined that a conviction would be difficult to obtain due to the access to the fuel pumps.

The investigation was re-opened in 2009 when a new manager was appointed at 9D9.

FMI: www.barrycounty.org

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