Status hearing for airport officials delayed

jhewlett@herald-leader.comDecember 18, 2009 

A status hearing for four former top executives of Lexington's Blue Grass Airport who face felony theft charges which was to have been held Friday was postponed and rescheduled for 9 a.m. Jan. 22 in Fayette Circuit Court.

Former airport executive director Michael Gobb, administration and finance director John Rhodes, operations director John Coon, and planning and development director John Slone pleaded not guilty in October to the charges. Gobb faces nine counts of theft, Rhodes faces six, and Coon and Slone one count each.

Law enforcement agencies investigated spending at the airport for more than nine months before the four were indicted October 20.

In February, state auditor Crit Luallen issued a report on an audit her office did of airport spending. The report detailed more than $500,000 in undocumented and questionable expenses made by seven airport officials — including the four charged — from Jan. 1, 2006, through Dec. 31, 2008.

Luallen's office referred the matter to law enforcement before the audit was completed.

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