Airport authority board member who invested in OneJet resigns |

Airport authority board member who invested in OneJet resigns

Jamie Martines

The vice chairman of the Allegheny County Airport Authority board has resigned.

Robert Lewis submitted his resignation letter to County Executive Rich Fitzgerald on March 22, stating in the letter that he has found “the political environment surrounding public service to have become toxic.”

Lewis could not immediately be reached for comment.

“In my mind, the current culture of public service no longer fosters the core values for which I am willing to serve,” Lewis said in the letter. “I would be remiss to not express grave concern for how my colleagues on the Board will continue to be able to make appropriate and necessary decisions without constant scrutiny and attacks.”

Fitzgerald is considering replacement candidates, spokesperson Amie Downs confirmed Monday.

Lewis, founder of Pittsburgh-based Orbital Engineering, was scrutinized in August 2018 for investing in the failed startup airline OneJet while serving on the airport authority board. He was also a non-voting member of OneJet’s board of directors.

OneJet was sued by the Allegheny County Airport Authority in August in an attempt to recover $763,000 out of $1 million in tax incentives after OneJet failed to launch all of the promised routes.

Lewis did not cast a vote to award the $1 million incentive. He also did not participate in any airport authority board votes related to county or state loans granted to OneJet.

OneJet stopped all flights Aug. 29.

Jamie Martines is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jamie at 724-850-2867, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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