Airport auction will be big, but some things won't be for sale

Aug. 7, 2009


Aug. 7--Blue Grass Airport will be auctioning off a lot of items it no longer needs on Aug. 29.

But if you're looking to buy merchandise returned to the airport in recent months in the wake of a spending scandal there, you're out of luck.

Those items, including computer equipment, five Wii game consoles with games, four shotguns, two tuxedos, DVDs and a bunch of other things, apparently are part of an ongoing criminal investigation.

Airport officials, wanting to sell part of the returned merchandise at the auction and use the remainder at the airport, asked the Kentucky attorney general's office about releasing the items.

They were told the items weren't being released.

"The attorney general will not be releasing the items, so they will not be included in the auction," airport spokeswoman Amy Caudill said this week in an e-mail.

Airport executive director Michael Gobb and directors John Coon, John Rhodes and John Slone resigned from their jobs in January after questions arose about their spending of airport money. Many of the returned items were purchased using airport credit cards issued to people in top airport jobs.

Airport interim executive director Eric Frankl said cameras and binoculars are among the returned items the airport wants to keep. The remainder would have been a tiny percentage of the merchandise at the auction, he said.

Among the things to be sold at the auction are a 1999 Chevrolet Tahoe, two 2001 Ford Expeditions, a 2003 Ford Expedition, a 2004 Dodge Durango, a tractor, computer equipment, office furniture and landscaping material, according to airport officials.

Frankl said every department at the airport has been earmarking things that are no longer needed. Some of it is "frankly junk," he said.

Each year, the airport has a sale of items it no longer needs. The sale usually is open only to airport employees and tenants, but this year's sale, which might be the airport's biggest, will be open to the public and handled by an auctioneer.

"I believe this is the first time we've had an auctioneer," Caudill said.

The auction will begin at 9:30 a.m. Aug. 29 in Building B of the airport's maintenance complex.

Reach Jennifer Hewlett at (859) 231-3308 or 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 3308.