Investigation into fuel account prompts mayor to remove North Adams airport commissioner
NORTH ADAMS — A member of the North Adams Airport Commission was removed from his post on Thursday amidst an ongoing police investigation into "irregularities in the fuel account" at Harriman-and-West Airport.
Mayor Richard Alcombright confirmed the investigation to The Eagle on Thursday, but would not confirm the name of the commissioner who was removed.
However, Alcombright removed Trevor Gilman from the commission on Thursday in a notice to the city clerk.
"The reason for your removal is that your actions as a member of the commission, and the activities you undertook in furtherance thereof, have been, and are not in the best interests of the city," Alcombright wrote in a letter to Gilman.
The letter states that the facts that led to Gilman's removal are withheld, as of now, "as the matter is currently under investigation."
"I am certain that upon investigation every accusation will be proven false," Gilman wrote in a statement to The Eagle on Thursday.
The investigation has been underway for about three weeks and is being led by the North Adams Police Department, according to Alcombright, who declined to specify the scope of "irregularities" in the account. He expects more information to be forthcoming in about two weeks.
Alcombright refused to comment on the specifics of the investigation other than to say that "at this point in time, I don't see where there's any financial loss to the city."
In his statement to The Eagle, Gilman said he has volunteered at the airport in various capacities for more than 20 years.
"Because of this, pretty much every part of the airport operations and management are connected to me in one way or another," Gilman said.
Gilman said he volunteered and organized Teamflys to fill the gap when Shamrock Aviation closed, leaving the airport without a fuel provider and flight school. He has managed it for four years, he said.
"This situation created a perception of conflict" and resulted in "an effort to discredit me," according to Gilman.
"It has hurt the airport and my reputation," Gilman said.
According to its Facebook Page, Teamflys, where Gilman says he is a "volunteer manager," offers professional flight instruction, aircraft rental and scenic flights. The company describes itself as not offering instruction "for the sake of profit," but to grow "our flying community."
"I made it my personal goal during my time on the commission to create an airport that was an economic engine for the community at no cost to the taxpayers, while balancing the interests of the tenants, users and neighbors evenly. I've done this without personal gain for [over] 20 years," Gilman said.
Adam Shanks can be reached at email@example.com, at @EagleAdamShanks on Twitter, or 413-496-6376
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