Friday, May 11, 2012

Airport Board Did Not Authorize Lawsuit On Fast Park Zoning

What an ironic twist.  It turns out that the Indianapolis Airport Authority (IAA) Board did not authorize the lawsuit filed on its behalf, contesting the authority of the MDC to approve the Fast Park Ride & Relax project for Stansted Road in Ameriplex (see "Yesterday's Zoning Case - Its About More Than a Parking Facility", and "Indianapolis Aiport Stomps  On Free Enterprise With Court Action").

Since the March filing, I have been requesting documents from the Airport.  They show that there was no vote by the Board authorizing the lawsuit.  The final word I got was that Mike Wells, Board President, unilaterally approved it.

Yesterday I filed a complaint with Indiana's Public Access Counselor alleging that this violates Indiana's Open Door Laws - because final action was taken without a vote of the Board in a duly noticed public meeting.

I've been on a number of Boards; most incorporated non-profits and one set up by State Law.  None gave the President the power of the Board itself.  Not through the incorporation and by-laws or statutes and not through Board policy.

The IAA Board apparently did not have a Board policy allowing any President of the Board generally, nor Wells specifically, to usurp their authority or role in deciding to commence legal action.  The explanation for his power was said to be by 'inherent authority' as 'the executive representative of the board'.

State Law gives the IAA Board the sole authority and power to sue and be sued on behalf of the IAA (IC 8-22-3-11).  That means that all members in attendance at a public meeting, the agenda for which has been published at least 48 hours beforehand for the notification of the public, are the ones who get a vote on whether the IAA will be a litigant in a lawsuit - with the majority vote prevailing.  That did not happen.

How ironic that the lawsuit claiming that the action of the MDC was outside of its legal authority, should be filed on behalf of the IAA Board by an action that was outside of the legal authority of the individual (Wells) to file.


guy77money said...

Your 100 percent correct! I know the boards I have been on the President usually cannot even bring a motion to the board. It sounds like Wells should be dismissed along with the law suit.

Had Enough Indy? said...

I like that !

Had Enough Indy? said...

I like that !

Gary R. Welsh said...

When I researched the solar farm project the airport entered into with ET Energy Solutions, I could find nothing in the board's minutes that even discussed the project, let alone approved the long-term lease the authority had entered into.

Anonymous said...

Airport faces fiscal headwinds