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City council unanimously passes resolution to confirm new Denver airport CEO

phil washington.jpg
Posted at 10:21 PM, Jul 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-13 00:24:01-04

DENVER — Denver City Council voted unanimously to confirm Phil Washington as the next CEO of the Denver International Airport.

Mayor Michael Hancock announced his choice for the nomination in June, but it hasn’t been without controversy.

Days after the nomination announcement, the administration was facing questions about Washington’s time as head of the Los Angeles County Transit Authority and an investigation into a no-contract bid.

However, Washington told Denver7 Investigates the complaint stemmed from a disgruntled employee and that he had “nothing to hide.”

A report from FOX 11 in Los Angeles last year says L.A. Metro entered into a contract — which was signed by Washington — with a nonprofit to run a sexual harassment hotline after a series of no-contract bids, leaving the hotline to be run by a friend and donor to an L.A. County Supervisor and Metro Board member.

According to the story, a whistleblower alleged that the hotline cost taxpayers roughly $8,000 per call, as it was not widely used.

Hancock’s administration called the allegations “baseless.”

“I know I can do a great job. I have done a great job. People look at my track record. That's all they have to look at. I've been successful at building a super team everywhere I've been,” Washington previously told Denver7 Investigates.

Washington headed Denver metro’s Regional Transportation District from 2009-2015 before taking on the job of leading Los Angeles’ county regional transportation authority for six years. While there, he oversaw between $18- $20 billion in capital projects and provided oversight of an agency with 11,000 employees, according to a news release from the mayor’s office.

Washington previously told Denver7 he looks forward to making DIA the No. 1 airport in the country.

The CEO position at DIA pays an annual salary of $266,143, the city’s highest paid position. Washington is slated to start his role on July 16, the same day current CEO Kim Day retires.