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Mojave Spaceport Investigates Mysterious Resignation of CFO

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
March 5, 2014
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Mojave Air and Space Port. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

Mojave Air and Space Port. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

By Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

For the past two weeks, officials at the Mojave Air and Space Port have been investigating a mystery: Why did long-time Chief Financial Officer Erika Westawski suddenly resign on the morning that a financial audit was to begin?

Westawski’s sudden departure caught everyone at the airport by complete surprise, CEO and General Manager Stu Witt said. Airport staff and an outside financial team have been working on an emergency audit to determine if anything is amiss with the airport district’s finances.

“I have nothing to suspect wrongdoing at this point,” Witt told reporters on Wednesday.

Witt did say that based on the audit results thus far, the financial reports which Westawski gave to him and the Board of Directors have not been accurate. However, he would not speculate further.

“Incorrect reports are not a crime,” he said.

Westawski had worked for the district for more than 9 years. Witt said he has had no contact with her since the resignation.

“I’ve never had anything like this happen to me,” he added.

The audit team is expected to provide preliminary results from their review on Friday morning, Witt said. The Board of Directors will be provided with an update at its next scheduled meeting on March 18, at 2 p.m. in the Administration Building.

Airport officials might have a press conference prior to the board meeting to provide an update on the audit, he added.

Financial audits are required by law every two years, Witt said. The most recent audit was conducted in 2011. The most recent audit was called for in October.

The Board of Directors met in special session on Wednesday in order to approve accounts payable bills and claims.

“The district is solvent. We’re paying our bills,” Witt said during the meeting.