Gene Richards is out as aviation director at Burlington International Airport.
City Council voted 10-1 late Thursday night to terminate Richards after 12 years in the position. In a 6-hour hearing, councilors heard from Richards, attorneys from both sides and Mayor Miro Weinberger, who had called for Richards to resign last month.
Richards had been on leave since June 30 following a complaint by an airport employee. An independent investigation found that Richards routinely verbally abused and mistreated employees and used poor judgment in utilizing city property, including using the airport’s gasoline facility to fuel his personal vehicle 59 times in a six-month period.
Richards was hoping for a second chance, but following Thursday’s meeting, he said he accepted the council’s decision.
“The process that I wanted, I was able to have,” Richards said. “It’s one that I wasn’t able to have with the mayor’s system. I was pleased I was able to have my time and get some answers to some questions. It shouldn’t be that difficult.”