Board Moves To Discuss Changing Employment Status Of Kalamazoo Airport Director Following Harassment Claims

Posted at 6:39 PM, Sep 17, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-17 20:28:31-04

The Kalamazoo – Battle Creek International Airport may have an opening for a new director in the near future.

The Kalamazoo Aeronautics Board of Trustees approved a motion Tuesday to discuss separation of employment with current Airport Director Cliff Moshoginis.

Moshoginis has been at the center of a harassment claim and investigation within Kalamazoo County involving an alleged inappropriate relationship with an employee.

Now the board has made a  move to enter into talks with his attorney to somehow remove him from employment there.

“I move that the Aeronautics Board of Trustees direct its counsel to enter into discussions with the airport director concerning the director’s employment status and his separation from employment,” said Mark Weiss, Board of Trustees member.

There are many different ways that an employee can be separated from an employer.

Some separations can be forced, including getting fired or laid-off.

Other separations, like retirement or resignation, can be voluntary.

Although the board may be moving toward some sort of termination of employment, they would not confirm or deny whether this decision is connected to the harassment claim and investigation.

“Any questions need to be referred to our counsel,” said Gill Collver, Board Chairman.

Tuesday Thom Canny, Corporation Counsel for the Airport Authority Board, was able to confirm that the board is working to end its employment relationship with Moshoginis.

However, he also declined comment regarding the harassment claims.

When asked if the motion Tuesday had any connection to the inappropriate relationship, Canny said, “The motion says to discuss employment status and separation,”

“I am not going to say anything further.”

When asked if the separation was a choice Moshoginis had made or the board had made, Canny responded, “I`m not going to answer that question.”

As for removing Moshoginis, it appears it could potentially come at some cost to taxpayers.

His contract indicates he’s currently paid more than $103,000 annually and is under contract until February 2016.

It also allows him severance pay unless he is fired for “cause”.

The contract defines that as, “intentional conduct that is not in the best interest of the airport and/or contrary to the directions given or the policies established by the Board..”

It’s unclear if what’s happened leading up to the board decision Tuesday fits that criteria for “cause”.

The only thing that’s been confirmed by the board right now is that legal talks between attorneys are ahead.

Moshoginis had been put on administrative leave following the last board meeting.

We reached out to the employee that FOX 17 sources say was involved in the claim against Moshoginis.

She did not return our request for comment.

A different family member did call us back and requested privacy.