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Kanawha prosecutor looking into airport finances

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Kanawha County prosecuting attorney is looking into the finances of Yeager Airport and its former director, Rick Atkinson, after Atkinson’s abrupt resignation earlier this month.

Atkinson, who had been the director for 16 years, announced his resignation on July 18 and left the airport just two days later, on July 20.

That same day, Kanawha County Prosecutor Chuck Miller’s office sent a letter to Terry Sayre, who had just become Atkinson’s replacement.

Miller’s office requested minutes from all meetings and subcommittee meetings of the Yeager Airport board for the previous two years. He asked for copies of all checks paid by the airport in the past two years to Corotoman Inc. and Wellford Services, as well as documents identifying the reasons for writing those checks.

Miller’s office also asked for copies of all contracts or verbal agreements between the airport and Corotoman and Wellman Services. (It is unclear if Wellman is a different company or if this was a typographical error in the letter.) Miller’s office also asked for the “last payroll check or direct deposit item for Rick Atkinson.”

Corotoman Inc., founded and managed by local developer John Wellford, owns property in the Northgate area, across from the airport.

Earlier this month, the airport’s Finance Committee requested a review of $650,000 in checks that the airport wrote to Corotoman in the wake of the March 12 landslide that destroyed a church and two houses and forced more than 100 people to evacuate.

Mike Plante, a Yeager spokesman, said the airport had spoken with the prosecutor’s office and was in the process of compiling the requested documents.

“We understand it’s informational, I don’t think they consider it an investigation…

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