Economic Development

ADI Execs, Beale Tell DOT They Operate Separately

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Aerodynamincs Inc.’s current executive team and board members – as well as its former president, chairman and CEO – all affirm to the U.S. Department of Transportation that they have no blood, family or legal relationships.

The affirmations are contained in a letter to Lauralyn Remo, chief of DOT’s Air Carrier Fitness Division, in response to DOT’s request for additional information from ADI regarding any relationships between former owner and CEO Scott Beale and the new executives and board, as well as any relationships with affiliated entities.

ADI applied last year for DOT certification that would allow the company to provide scheduled daily service between Chicago O’Hare International Airport and Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport in Vienna Township. In January, based on a fraud finding against Beale in a civil case last year, DOT issued a show cause order that proposed to deny the certification, questioned the fitness of Beale to operate the company and threatened to revoke its existing certificates.

In his declaration, posted at the DOT division’s website, Beale said excluding any “employment, consultant or other agreements” he might have signed on ADI’s behalf as its CEO, president or chairman before his Jan. 26 resignation, he had no “written or oral agreements” or any “blood, family or legal relationships” with F. Darrell Richardson, Mickey Bowman, Kenneth Swieter and Donald Greeson, nor any relationship with entities they are affiliated with.

According to the documents, Richardson, who has “significant senior management experience at airlines,” was hired as a consultant to ADI in November as it prepared to launch scheduled passenger service. In response to the Jan. 22 show cause order, ADI selected Richardson to succeed Beale as CEO, president and board chairman.

Bowman sits on ADI’s board and its affiliated companies’ boards and is the carrier’s vice president for airline services. Swieter and Greeson are both board members. All three joined ADI in January, and they also deny having any blood, family or legal relationships with Beale.

In addition to addressing lease assignments, the documents clarify issues regarding timing for Beale to place his shares in a voting trust and to sell those shares. ADI expects that the two time periods – 30 days for placement in the voting trust and 120 days for the sale – to run concurrently. Once a trustee is identified, that information will be provided to the department, the company said.

ADI’s letter also responds to an anonymous comment posted on ADI’s docket claiming that Beale “[met] and negotiate[d] the terms of a flight services contract with a NASCAR team” last month. In the letter, ADI attorneys Robert E. Cohn

And Patrick R. Rizzi say the claim is false. Beale traveled to Charlotte, N.C. with Richardson to introduce him as ADI’s new president and CEO at a lunch with the NASCAR team’s CEO but no contract negotiations were conducted with the team at that lunch or after, according to the company’s letter.

ADI “responded to the Department of Transportation’s request for additional information in a swift and accurate manner” and the information submitted should satisfy DOT’s concerns with respect to Beale and ADI’s fitness, said Dan Dickten, director of aviation at the regional airport, which is operated by the Western Reserve Port Authority.

“The DOT has nearly completed the vetting process of ADI. I believe DOT will soon respond with a favorable show cause order favoring the airline’s certification request to serve our community with daily flights between the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport and the Chicago-O’Hare International Airport,” he added.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.