I-Team uncovers scandal at Hopkins Airport involving top managers

CLEVELAND-The FOX 8 I-Team has found two top managers at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport facing discipline after an investigation into an out-of-state trip with a city car and claims of a an attempt to cover up what really happened.

This comes after the latest scandal at Hopkins Airport which has made headlines repeatedly for security breaches and other problems.

Records obtained by the I-Team reveal an internal investigation into “allegations of misconduct” involving Airport Operations Manager Robert Fischietto and Deputy Commissioner Jeff Gordon.

The documents show Fischietto was cited for speeding in his city vehicle. Then, Gordon sent an email stating the trip to Maryland was “approved and for business purposes.” But the records also indicate the two men later admitted the “story was fabricated and there was no approval and the trip was not made for business purposes.”

City documents also show the operations manager may have gotten paid when he wasn’t at work. For one day surrounding the out-of-town trip, internal investigators found “regular (paid) time”, but they found no evidence the manager had ever swiped in showing he was at the airport and at work.

The two airport officials have had disciplinary hearings, but as of Tuesday afternoon, no punishment had been issued.

The records also indicate the violations could also be considered theft in office, but a city spokesman did not have any word about whether or not the investigation would also be turned over to prosecutors for consideration.

The I-Team left messages for Fischietto and Gordon, but neither one called back.

Last week, the I-Team spoke to the mayor on another topic, and when we asked about the latest airport investigation, the mayor told us he hadn’t heard about it. He said something like this would be handled by the airport director and move “up the chain.”

The city says Gordon earns more than $95,000 a year, and Fischietto earns more than $87,000 a year.

This comes after other issues at Hopkins Airport. City officials have been disciplined for bypassing security. A security breach went unnoticed for hours. And more.

Travelers we met were troubled after we outlined the latest investigation. Dr. Leanne Chrisman-Khawam said, “I’m a physician. We’re expected to do the public good, and we want a physician who will do well for you. Same thing, air travel is a zero-error kind of business.”

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