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Did the Manager of Denver International Airport Violate Ethics Rules?

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The first 10 months of 2010 showed an increase in traffic at Denver International Airport compared with numbers from the same period two years ago, says Denver aviation manager Kim Day, who adds that the rise is “a compelling indicator that the aviation industry is recovering from the recession” (via USA Today).

That’s good, because DIA officials are on track to spend at least 43 percent more on their own travel this year than last, setting the airport apart from other city agencies that have kept more austere budgets. Day defends the nearly $384,000 in travel costs as necessary to marketing the airport, writes The Denver Post, which points out that the international trips haven’t brought new international routes to the airport and that Day’s expenditures are markedly higher than those of her predecessor, Turner West.

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Moreover, the way Day handled financing for a trip to Greece to attend a conference at the cost of a contractor, Insight Media Limited of London, which received a $370,000 no-bid contract from DIA, “appears to violate the city’s ethics policy.” Day claims that before she took the trip, she checked with Michael Henry, the director of Denver’s Board of Ethics, to ensure there was no conflict of interest, but Henry says there was no request for an official opinion from the board, and if there had been one, “we would have investigated all of the details and all of the relationships and all of the timing.”

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