Madison County

Suspended Madison airport chairman intends to preside over meeting

RICHMOND — A circuit court judge found no reason Monday to prohibit Madison County Judge-Executive Kent Clark from suspending Airport Board chairman Eddie Pullins.

Nevertheless, Pullins said he intends to attend and preside over an airport board meeting Tuesday. "He will be at that meeting and he's going to be there as chairman," said Pullins' attorney, Jimmy Dale Williams.

Pullins was suspended in January as the unpaid chairman of the Madison Airport Board. Pullins then sued Clark for taking an "arbitrary action" and asked a circuit court judge to declare that Clark doesn't have authority to suspend without the consent of the mayors of Berea and Richmond.

The airport board is composed of six members appointed by the Richmond, Berea and Madison County governments.

But Judge Jean Chenault Logue said Monday that she didn't see any irreparable harm to Pullins, and she decided not to issue an injunction against Clark.

Clark, who had no comment on Monday's ruling, has not given a reason for the suspension.

But in testimony Monday, Pullins said Clark apparently was upset at some actions the board had taken to keep the airport running after the fixed-base operator, Air 51, voluntarily ended its lease on Dec. 31.

The fixed-base operator is a contractor that oversees day-to-day operations of an airport, such as fuel sales and aircraft maintenance.

For example, the board had transferred $10,000 into a new bank account, Pullins said. And two people who had been under contract with Air 51 were told they would be hired as airport board employees, pending the approval of the full board, vice chairman George Wyatt testified.