The new head of the LAX airports, Gina Marie Lindsey, has made a lot of friends inside City Hall’s power structure — which is no larger than a walk-in closet — and a lot of enemies outside the system and among the L.A. World Airports staff.
Supporters say she has brought fresh eyes and strong leadership to LAWA and is strengthening the organization by adding outsiders to her managment team. But inside the massive LAWA organization, there’s nothing but complaints.
The most serious allegation of cronyism, reported Saturday in the Daily Breeze already has prompted the city’s clean government crusader, Controller Laura Chick, to send in a team of auditors to check out charges that Lindsey manipulated the award of a $25 million contract to DMJM over Bechtel, which was higher rated by the airport’s contract selection committee.
Lindsey has close ties with DMJM, which got the contract for improvements to the Seattle airport, where she last worked.
Insiders say Lindsey has played hardball with the LAWA staff with sharp criticism of their performance and passed them over to bring in pals from outside.
With billions of dollars in contracts at stake for the controversial LAX expansion plan and Lindsey’s tepid support for air traffic regionalizaton efforts at Ontario and Palmdale, the controversy swirling around her is certain to get a lot more intense.