FFA asks airport for records following complaints from former director

By Sarah Richardson

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a letter to the Greenbrier Valley Airport and Greenbrier County Airport Authority (GCAA) on May 12 after receiving complaints from former Airport Director Stephen Snyder about airport proceedings.

The FAA stated in part, “Mr. Snyder alleges that the Greenbrier Valley Airport Authority, sponsor of the Greenbrier Valley Airport (the airport), is in violation of their Federal Grant Obligations as it relates to operations of the Airport.”

Snyder was removed from his position as Airport Manager last year in a 3-2 vote by the airport board. Following his removal, he attended several county commission meetings to protest that he was fired with inadequate notice.

The letter asks the airport authority to review and provide a response to 33 allegations, including “records of GCAA funds being transferred to the Royal Bank of Canada in 2015,” “any audit of GCAA financial activities created during the time-period between 2015 and 2020,” “records of all GCAA funds used to pay legal fees in a case in which former Commissioner McClung was a party,” multiple records of payments issued by the GCAA between 2014 and 2015, and more.

“We are fully cooperating with the requests made by the FAA,” said Airport Authority Chair Deborah Phillips. “We are going through our files and responding to each one. The issues that are in the requests for us to respond to have all been looked at before. I didn’t see anything different than the issues that have been reviewed by state and federal agencies since 2015.”

She went on to add, “Once a year we have reviews and audits, and all of our federal audits have been positive. At this time, we are under no restrictions and have no filed against us, no audit findings, and are open for business.”

The FAA letter also asks for “the seven pages of documentation allegedly retrieved by Commissioner McClung from the LWB Airport Manager’s Office after Mr. Snyder was terminated in 2019.”

A lawsuit was filed against Commissioner McClung earlier this year regarding said incident involving stolen airport property, which occurred on Aug. 23, 2019.

A document filed on Jan. 22 by Special Prosecuting Attorney Brian Parson states, “Michael McClung did knowingly, willfully and without authorization, directly or indirectly, access or caused to be accessed a computer or computer network belonging to Greenbrier Valley Airport with the intent to obtain computer services by physically removing a computer hard drive from the Greenbrier Valley Airport and later making duplicates of the aforesaid hard drive.”

McClung admitted to entering the airport and taking the hard drive and copying its contents, but he denied having viewed the information. This incident occurred after McClung was voted out of his seat on the airport authority and replaced with Commissioner Tammy Shifflett-Tincher.

McClung was banned from airport property and is facing three charges: unauthorized access to computer services, unauthorized possession of computer data or programs, and unauthorized possession of computer information.

The airport must submit their documentation on the 33 allegations by July 27, at which time the FAA will review the findings.