City Council Votes To Fire Director Of Burlington Airport

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — The Burlington City Council has voted to fire the director of the Burlington International Airport after an investigation showed that he used airport gasoline for personal use and showed abusive behavior to employees.

In a special meeting held Thursday, the council voted 10-1 after more than two hours of deliberations to fire Gene Richards, who has been director for nearly a decade.

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger recommended last month that Richards be fired following the investigation.

Weinberger said he was sad that Richards’ tenure had come to an end after he had so many successes transforming the airport from a struggling institution to one that was able to weather the pandemic with a balanced budget.

Richards apologized to the people he offended.

“I have learned from my experience, and I am disappointed in my actions that have caused a negative spotlight on the airport,” he said.

The investigation was launched after a Federal Aviation Administration employee discovered repeated use of a gasoline facility by a private vehicle.

Richards was put on leave June 30.