Sep 16, 2022 - News

Denver airport CEO and FAA nominee named in search warrant executed this week

Denver International Airport CEO and Federal Aviation Administration nominee Phil Washington. Photo: Hyoung Chang/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

The search warrant that named Denver International Airport CEO Phil Washington last year was carried out this week related to a corruption investigation in Los Angeles, California.

Why it matters: The move comes ahead of his nomination process to lead the Federal Aviation Administration after President Biden tapped him in July.

Driving the news: The warrant aims to unearth information about possible favoritism in how Los Angeles' Metropolitan Transportation Authority — which Washington headed for six years — awarded contracts.

  • A copy of the warrant, published on the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department website, reveals the agency has asked for correspondence from several people of interest — including Washington.
  • Meanwhile, Washington has denied all allegations, Bloomberg reports. (Axios Denver did not immediately hear from Washington upon request for comment.)

State of play: Washington's FAA confirmation hearing has not been scheduled, but a federal official told Axios Denver they plan to let the nomination process "play out," regardless of the search warrant.

  • Yes, but: Leaders of the committee considering his nomination are already expressing concerns over his credibility.

What they're saying: "I am deeply troubled to learn the nominee was named in a search warrant that ties him to allegations of corruption at LA Metro," Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker, the leading Republican on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, said in a statement.

  • "Every nominee for this critical position is subject to the confirmation process, which includes a careful and thorough review of the individual’s qualifications. Mr. Washington’s nomination and all of his background is undergoing that process now," Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell, chair of the committee, told CNN in a statement.

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