The former head of the governing board ofLouis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport has resigned fromthe panel amid questions about his use of an airport credit card.
Dan Packer quit Monday while saying he had documented everycharge made on the card. According to The Times-Picayune, Packertold Mayor Mitch Landrieu that he did not want to be a distractionto the mayor or airport operations.
Packer is a former chief executive of Entergy New Orleans. Hewas appointed Aviation Board chairman in 2002 shortly after RayNagin became mayor. He served in the unpaid position until Augustand remained on the board until this week.
A recent review of credit-card use at the airport raisedquestions about some charges made by top administrators - includingPacker - and a lack of oversight over the spending.
The report by an accounting firm found "significant travelexpenses by several employees" and "significant meal andentertainment expenses" by airport director Sean Hunter, whoresigned in 2009.
Hunter this month pleaded guilty in federal court in a case inwhich he and his wife are accused of collecting insurance proceedson a car that was undamaged in Hurricane Katrina and then coveringup their crime. Packer and other board members are not implicatedin that case.
The credit-card analysis covers activity from January 2008through October 2010. During that 34-month period, Packer submittedcharges of more than $76,000. In 20 months, Hunter's total was morethan $77,000.
Packer said earlier this month that he documented every chargehe made on his card. He said he often charged airport-relatedbusiness dinners and lunches.
He said the airport paid for a trip he took in 2008 to Dubai,where he and other business leaders attended a meeting of the WorldTrade Organization. He said he also traveled to Hawaii each Januaryfor meetings of the American Association of Airport Executives andvisited Washington, D.C., several times a year on airport business.
Without thanking Packer for his service, Landrieu issued a briefstatement in which he said the airport's new management team has"significantly improved existing policies that are in line withour aggressive financial reforms at City Hall."
Packer's appointment came after the administration of theprevious mayor, Marc Morial, was criticized for excessive patronageat the airport.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun