Airport audit argued at mayoral forum

The four candidates for mayor of Lexington were each asked the same nine questions at a forum Tuesday, but the Jims compressed some of their answers to get more time to argue over who did what when a spending scandal erupted at Blue Grass Airport.

Vice Mayor Jim Gray said Mayor Jim Newberry opposed his request for a public audit of the airport. Newberry said he did not. Most of the argument centered on a letter that Newberry wrote to Gray in December 2008, as the council was approving a Gray resolution calling for an audit.

Gray called attention to the portion of the letter in which Newberry wrote that the airport board should be free of "political influences and motivations" from the council or mayor.

Newberry pointed to the part where he said he welcomed "any objective external review" of spending issues raised in Herald-Leader articles that resulted in criminal charges being brought against top airport officials.

Lexington's mayoral primary is May 18.

The forum was sponsored by the local chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners.